I don’t know why everything has to be a competition. TV is full of reality shows (which I hate by the way). There’s a new one coming up about dogs that do tricks. But instead of having a show depicting the interesting dogs and the fun tricks they do, they are making it a Big Brother style competition show where the dogs and owners all live in a big house and the least talented dog gets kicked out every week or something. Why does someone always have to win – and why does someone always have to lose? Isn’t it enough to do something or know something or have some talent without having to say, “I’m better than you”? Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master.” Why does everyone want to be better than someone else?
In the first reading the speaker sees the Lord and the seraphim and realizes his unworthiness. But the angel touches him and removes his sin and then he is ready to do the Lord’s will. He realizes that even in his human state he can do good work, but does not count himself superior.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus is sending his disciples out to do his work and to tell the Good News and to heal the sick. He tells them that they can do what he does, but they are not superior to him. The job he has set for them is dangerous and difficult. They will probably be arrested and possibly executed for doing this. He will be too. But they should remember that God loves all his creations, including the little birds. If He cares for the sparrows, won’t he care at least as much for people who are doing His work? They should not worry about earthly things that only have earthly power but should be more concerned about heavenly things.
The disciple can strive to learn as much as the teacher; the slave can strive to be his own master. Jesus’ disciples can heal the sick and raise the dead, but their teacher can put in a good word for them to his Father. They can do their best, but they’re not God. And doing their good works is enough. They cannot be God and should not strive toward it. Healing the sick and raising the dead is pretty impressive anyway. Should one disciple try to raise himself up and put the others down? Is the skateboarding dog the best, and does that make the hula hooping dog any less?
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