Mon, 25 February 2019
(Sir.2:1-11; Ps.37:3-5,18-19,27-28,39-40; Mk.9:30-37)
“My son, when you come to serve the Lord,
prepare yourself for trials.”
Is Jesus not “teaching His disciples in this vein” when He speaks of His imminent death, a death they shall share, and calls them to “remain the least one of all and the servant of all,” even as He is? Their arguing about importance reveals that they have not understood who they are, and so He would remind them that “in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.”
A kind of humiliation is upon the Lord’s disciples today as they fall silent in shame for “arguing about who was the most important, as Jesus stands a humble, silent child “in their midst” and calls them to embrace him, even as He has. They must make themselves lower than even this “little child,” they must be even more “sincere of heart and steadfast,” if they are to find the reward which awaits them. Yes, they must “cling to Him” even as He clings to them – even as He clings to this child – and “thus will [their] future be great”; thus will they come through the Son to the Father in heaven.
“Crushing misfortune” awaits the Lord’s disciples, for soon He shall be taken from them, and they will understand what His death means. But as long as they continue to “fear the Lord… [their] reward will not be lost”; for “three days after His death He will rise,” and those who give their lives as He has done, even as the least of all, shall also know what His resurrection means.
Oh brothers and sisters, “the Lord watches over the lives of the wholehearted; their inheritance lasts forever,” and we must be counted among their number. The Lord “forsakes not His faithful ones”; there is no one who has “hoped in the Lord and been disappointed.” So let our hope be in Him and our service be for Him, and He will help us to endure “whatever befalls” us. If He is our “refuge in time of distress,” we shall know our salvation, for whoever stands with Him in times of trial will also stand with Him in glory. Let us but remain humble before Him, as a child; let us but accept the children He would place in our arms… and the birth pangs we find will but lead us to our home in heaven.
To His house the Lord leads us, even in this life. Let us listen to His teaching.
O LORD, even in times of crushing misfortune
you are with us,
if we but turn to you in humility.
YHWH, you are more humble than a little child, and if we could but trust in you and be as you, you would care for us in all things. Make us as your children, as humble souls in your holy hand, that into your image we may be molded.
Your Son would lead us to you, LORD. By His death He would show us the trust we must have in your love. We must give all things over unto you, even our very life’s breath, to find how faithful you are, to find the life that is in you. After three days Jesus did rise, and if we but trust our own death to you, we shall rise with Him.
O LORD, let us not fear trial or distress, but in such humiliation increase our faith. This is your gift to us; this would bring us closer to you. And what more should we desire than to be more like you, who are more humble than a speck of dust, whose days are without end.