Jesus and his disciples came down the mountain and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples in this vein: “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put him to death; three days after his death he will rise.” Though they failed to understand his words, they were afraid to question him. They returned to Capernaum and Jesus, once inside the house, began to ask them, “What were you discussing on the way home?” At this they fell silent, for on the way they had been arguing about who was the most important. So he sat down and called the Twelve around him and said, “If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all.” Then he took a little child, stood him in their midst, and putting his arms around him, said to hem, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this for my sake welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes not me, but him who sent me.” (Mk 9:30-37)
Prayer: Lord, I want to take these few minutes of silence I have to pray to open my heart to you and allow you to teach me, to form me, to make me the apostle you want me to be. Speak to me Lord. I am listening.
Petition: Lord, form me to be a holy and zealous apostle.
1. Jesus wishes to be with his disciples Jesus will to be leaving the Church to his disciples and he wants to make sure they are prepared for their mission. He wants to be alone with them so that he can speak freely with them and explain what is going to happen. He puts aside his work with the big crowds to dedicate time to train his closest collaborators. Jesus also desires to form me for my mission. He wants to take me aside in moments of prayer to explain his plans, to teach me how I must speak and act, to prepare me for what lies ahead.
2. The disciples are not easy to form In spite of Jesus’ efforts to enlighten his disciples, they do not understand. Furthermore they are too embarrassed to ask anything. Perhaps they are hoping that what he is saying is not all that important. Instead of making the effort to understand they begin to argue among themselves who is more important. I must not make the mistake of the disciples. I must not be afraid of confronting Christ with my doubts and difficulties. I must be attentive to what he is trying to teach me and not brush it off. I must have confidence that Jesus wants to teach me; that is why he has given me time for prayer. He is not going to think badly of me if I tell him I do not understand.
3. Jesus is patient When the disciples miss the point of what Jesus is trying to tell them he does not get upset with them. When they arrive at the house and are enjoying a refreshing glass of water he pops the question, “What were you talking about on the road?” They are too embarrassed to answer. Jesus knows what they were talking about and he now uses the situation to instruct them, “If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all.” Certainly none of the disciples forgot this lesson. There are many occasions in my life when Jesus is patiently trying to teach me a lesson and perhaps I am not listening. I do not want to hear what he is saying. I am thinking about something else. Still he is patient with me and tries again and again to get his message across.
Prayer: “Dear Lord, I know that you are trying to form me. There are many things you would like to teach me but often I do not understand, I miss the point of your lessons. Please be patient with me the way you were patient with the disciples. Do not give up on me.”