The Lord teaches the disciples that those who wish to be great must be the servant of all. This insight helps us to understand the Lord’s example on the Cross: as Jesus offers his life, so we are called to share the gift of our lives with one another.
Jesus commands the disciples to let people bring their children to be blessed, and then teaches that we must be like children to enter into the Kingdom of God. May we run to the Lord with eager joy, even as we also do our part to help others encounter the love of Christ.
The Lord confronts the bickering of the disciples with counter examples of selfless service and a little child. As we offer our lives for the Lord, may we do so with a sincere and genuine transparency.
“The community of believers was of one heart and mind…” (Acts 4:32)
I marvel at the transformation of the disciples. Before the resurrection of Jesus they were filled with fear, paralyzed by their own weakness and doubt; after the resurrection they are changed, as evidenced in even the basic ways they lived and worked together.
One heart and mind!
Unity can be challenging in even the best circumstances: we see things differently, hold our own unique values and principles, as well as personal tastes and interests. Working together is tough, yet it is a common sign of holiness – the practical proof that we are doing our part to build the Lord’s kingdom here on earth.
What supports unity? Jesus Christ! Unity with Christ provides the grace for unity with Christ’s brothers and sisters; this clear sign of faith draws others to the Good News and fosters our community with one another. Take a look at a few of the patterns that emerge in today’s readings:
1st Reading – sharing according to need
Psalm – giving thanks to the Lord
2nd Reading – love of God by keeping his commandments
Gospel – Christ’s peace that overcomes doubt
Another way to say it: Sharing, Gratitude, Love, Peace – which find their source in Jesus and flow through us to the those we meet. I would suggest that the disciples used these building blocks to form the first elements of the Church, working together in unity with the grace of Christ to proclaim the Good News.
This work continues today. We all know firsthand the effects of discord – where lives are broken and fragmented by selfishness, fear, hate, and a hardness of heart – yet we believe in something greater…Christ is triumphant! Our response can mirror the disciples:
We acknowledge the obstacles in our lives
We turn to Jesus Christ and call upon his grace
We allow the Lord to work through us to unite with one another
May we bring these powerful blessings of the resurrection to our world today:
Sharing the gifts God has given us
Grateful for the blessings we have received from on high
Jesus invites the disciples to rest after they return from their mission. It’s a good reminder that there is always more work than we can possibly accomplish; our task is to make sure that we balance our lives with the rest we need so that we can keep serving the Lord.
Jesus returns home with his disciples, but the people – limited by their thinking – cannot see him by the light of his ministry. The Lord’s rejection reminds us that we, too, have a community of our own…and we can either build it up or tear it down.
All living things grow slowly and steadily, following a process as they mature. The same is true for our faith. On this feast of Saints Titus and Timothy may we patiently and faithfully keep our eyes fixed on the Lord as we grow in faith, hope and love.