Daily Gospel – Tuesday, May 21, 2024 – Mark 9,30-37 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (James 4:1-10)

Reading of the Letter of Saint James.

Dear friends, where do wars come from? Where do the fights between you come from? Don’t they come, precisely, from the passions that are in conflict within you? You covet it, but you can’t have it. You kill and cultivate envy, but you cannot succeed. You fight and make war, but you cannot possess. And the reason is that you don’t ask. Yes, you ask, but you do not receive, because you ask badly. Because you just want to waste the request on your pleasures.

Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Thus, everyone who pretends to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think it in vain that the Scripture says: “The spirit that dwells in us yearns with jealousy”? But he gives us a greater grace. Therefore, Scripture says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” So obey God, but resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw closer to God, and he will draw closer to you. Purify your hands, you sinners, and sanctify your hearts, you double-minded men. Be sad, put on mourning and cry. Let your laughter turn into mourning, and your joy into despair. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Mark 9:30-37)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus and his disciples were crossing Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know this, as he was teaching his disciples. And he said to them: “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. But three days after his death, he will rise again.” The disciples, however, did not understand these words
and they were afraid to ask.

They arrived at Capernaum. When they were at home, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” They, however, remained silent, as along the way they had discussed who was the greatest. Jesus sat down, called the twelve together and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, let him be last of all and the one who serves all!” Then he took a child, placed him in their midst, and hugging him said: “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name is welcoming me. And whoever welcomes me is welcoming, not me, but to him who sent me.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Imagine for a moment that you are in a large garden, full of flowers of all colors and fragrances. In the center of this garden, there is a fountain of clear water, which symbolizes the peace and serenity that we all desire in our lives. Now, think about the weeds that grow in this garden, representing the conflicts, envy and pride that try to suffocate the beauty and tranquility that God desires for us.

Today, our readings invite us to reflect on these weeds that arise in our lives and how we can, with God’s help, cultivate a garden of peace and humility.

In the first reading, James asks us directly: “Where do wars and strife among you come from?” He responds that they come from the passions that war within us. Think about the moments of conflict in your lives: how often do these moments arise from envy, from the inordinate desire to possess what we don’t have, or from hurt pride?

James calls us to an attitude of humility before God. He tells us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” This is an invitation to inner transformation, to recognize our weaknesses and to seek in God the strength to overcome them. James emphasizes the importance of humbling ourselves before the Lord, for “he will exalt you.”

In the Gospel, we see Jesus walking with his disciples, and He tells them about his passion and resurrection. However, the disciples are distracted, arguing among themselves about who would be the greatest. Realizing this, Jesus teaches them a powerful lesson: “If anyone would be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.”

To illustrate his point, Jesus places a child in their midst and says, “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me.” The child, in the culture of that time, represented the being without power, without status, dependent. Jesus is calling us to welcome and serve others with the same simplicity and humility as a child.

Let’s go back to our garden. The weeds James mentions are like the disordered desires and pride that take root in our hearts. They suffocate the flowers of peace, love and humility. We need to pull out these weeds, and that starts with reflection and prayer. James tells us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” It is a call to spiritual vigilance and to fight against the temptations that keep us away from God.

Jesus, in the Gospel, shows us how to cultivate a pure heart: by being servants. When we think of greatness, we often associate it with power and prestige. But Jesus reverses this logic. True greatness is in serving, in putting the needs of others above our own.

Think of a lit candle. It illuminates and gives warmth, but to do so, it consumes itself. We are called to be light in the world, to illuminate and warm the lives of others, even if it means sacrificing ourselves. Just like the candle, our service to others is a reflection of Christ’s love within us.

I would like to share a real story to illustrate this message. Mother Teresa of Calcutta dedicated her life to the poor and sick. She found greatness not in power, but in the humility of serving those most in need. On one occasion, when asked how she managed to carry out her work in the midst of so much misery, she replied: “I am not capable of great things, but I can do small things with great love.”

This little woman, with her giant heart, demonstrated that true greatness lies in simplicity and service. She welcomed each person as if she were welcoming Christ himself, fully living Jesus’ teaching: “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me.”

Now, I invite each of you to reflect: what are the weeds in your spiritual garden? What disordered desires, envy or pride are suffocating the flowers of peace and love in your lives? How can you approach God and ask for His help in pulling out these weeds?

And most importantly, how can you serve others with humility and simplicity? Maybe it’s helping a neighbor in need, listening to someone who is struggling, or simply being more patient and understanding with their families.

Let’s take a break now. Close your eyes and ask God to reveal to you the areas of your life where you need His help. Trust that He is listening and ready to help you transform your hearts.

Brothers and sisters, our calling is clear: to cultivate a humble heart and be a servant to others. When we follow Christ’s example, we become instruments of His peace in the world. Let the light of Christ shine through us, illuminating and warming the lives of everyone around us.

Remember the words of James: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” And from the words of Jesus: “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me.” Let us live these truths in our daily lives, making God’s love visible through our actions.

May divine grace, love and hope be with you all. May we leave here today with renewed hearts and a firm commitment to live in peace and humility.

Amen.