Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

February 21, 2012

Michael Bahl

Junior, Theology and Classical & Near Eastern Civilizations Double Major

Jas 4:1-10
Ps 55:7-8, 9-10a, 10b-11a, 23
Mk 9:30-37

“But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.” -Mark 9:34

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus has to have a discussion with his disciples about humility. When Jesus confronted them about their argument, they were ashamed. Sitting down, Jesus tells them this: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) Oh, how often we think we are better than everyone else, even though we are not! The ego is much easier to inflate than a balloon, but pops just as quickly when pricked with shame. The easiest way to avoid this is simply to follow this message: Be the servant of all. We must not be preoccupied with who is the best. Rather, we should think about ways to serve, and about how Christ is working within.

The modern, competitive world makes this rather difficult to do, and this is indeed frustrating. However, what might be even more frustrating is the competition that takes place within ourselves: the competition between desires. I want this, I want that. I want to do great things, and yet strangely, sometimes I want to do things that are terrible and not great in any way. Where does the desire for God fall in with this internal war? If only my desire for God won out in every single instance; then I would stop wasting time wondering where I stand in competition with others and spend much more time thinking about love, both divine and human, and how to submit to Christ’s workings within me. Love and Christ ought to always win when in competition with hubris, and the only way for that to happen in every instance is to be “the servant of all.”

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