Gospel: Mark 9:30-41
Old Testament: Exodus 4:10-31
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 14:1-19
Psalms: 31, 35
In today’s reading from Mark, there were many passages that struck me. Verses 34 -35, however, were special: “But they were silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said, ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant to all.’”
Recently, my daughter tried out for a lead in a school musical. She practiced a lot and really wanted that part. She ended up getting something else in the play instead. I was worried about how she would take it and how she would feel, until she came up to me and said, “Mom, I’m good with this. I’m happy with the part I did get.” I realized that, for her, it is not at all about winning… but just trying her best.
I feel situations like this come up all the time in my life. I see it in business, where we are always working to be the best, to be #1. I see it with children. They learn early on to want to be winners. I’ve been in a car with boys where each of them is talking about how he is better at something than the boy next to him. I call it one-up-man-ship. How amazing it would really be if someone spoke up and said “Hey, you are better than me, and that is wonderful!“ – And they really meant it! That is what I hope for my children. I hope that they will learn to be humble and to value others as well as themselves. I want them to appreciate the people around them for what they are, not how good they are at something. I am hoping to become better at leading by example. Being #2 or #3, or even #2000 is OK. It is even great!