Judy sometimes recalls her family’s vacation trip to Florida in the ole station wagon. Her dad has his left hand on the steering wheel and his right hand flailing away at her unruly brother in the back seat…” don’t make me stop this car”. I wish I could say this sounds foreign to me; yet most fathers have memories of “the kids acting up” and wondering which “prison/asylum/planet” will they end up in.
I usually think of the apostles and disciples as mature and wise and measured and holy men. Today’s gospel reminds me that while most ended up as saints and pillars of the church, they had their moments. “An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest ”(Luke 9:46-50) In case you think this was an isolated event, recall James and John convincing their mother to lobby for them to get the top spot in Christ’s kingdom. (Mt. 20:20-28) Needless to say, the other apostles were not happy.
Wow, I can picture the Lord thinking to himself, this is NOT going as planned. Yet it seems that he was not surprised or disappointed with them. He didn’t yell at them…he began to teach or re-teach them about humility, about how we should be acting. “For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest”. (Luke 9:48) “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve.” (Mt. 20:26-28)
There’s a couple of points in today’s BLOG in case your mind is drifting and you’re not paying close attention or you dozed off. The first is the clear message on humility, on looking to serve rather than be served, counting others better than yourself, taking the last place not the first. This message of the kingdom is opposite to the message of the world. Allow the Lord to raise you up; he will do it at the right time. He sees every act of love that we take and he remembers all of our loving actions.
The other point is that the Lord is not surprised with our foibles, with our actions that are not in line with the gospel. He’s not upset with us when we trip over our own feet. He’s there to forgive and correct and re-teach us. He’s committed to getting us to the right place. He prays for us to be able to think and act according to God’s holy will.(Luke 22:32) God is love and love is patient.
God doesn’t expect 400 foot homeruns from the youngster in Little League….. and he hopefully doesn’t expect 400’ homeruns from 76 year old guys writing BLOGS. And that is very good news for all of us.