17 Sep 2021

This Week Letter – September 19, 2021

0 Comment

Greatness… through the eyes of Jesus


Jesus asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another as to who of them was greatest.

So many people in this society want to be “number one”, a successful winner. This is the concept of happiness from the world. It’s all about power, control, wealth, fame, reputation, status and position. This temptation also reached Jesus’ disciples.

He knew perfectly well why they had argued; he also knows that we need this lesson today. When Jesus was instructing his disciples, he did not say that we should not or cannot be great. Rather, He is asking us to change our minds about what it means to “be great”.

Jesus took a little child in his arms and said to his disciples: “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever accepts me does not receive me, but the one who sent me. ” Greatness lies in welcoming a child – but through paying them attention, not in making childish of one’s own attitudes.

Jesus points out what the child represents. It is a symbol of helplessness, powerlessness and dependence. Greatness, as Jesus says, consists in accepting such a person into our arms, regardless of his age.

Greatness is not in what we have achieved and gained for ourselves, but in what we have done and given to “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40), the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned; symbolic children in all of our lives. Think of a family member or nurse who looks after the elderly, the sick, and the dying, who bathes, changes their clothes; they gain spiritual “greatness.”

The greatness that Jesus speaks of is never placed in the position of superiority over others. It’s not about me; my nation, my politics, my bank account, my home, my job, my achievements, my reputation, and my status. Our greatness is revealed in our service and care to others, regardless of their ability or willingness to pay, repay, or return a favor.

Jesus spoke of loving others even when they do not love you (Luke 6:32), doing good to those who do not do good to you (Luke 6:33), borrowing without waiting for repayment (Luke 6:34), and inviting to dinner those who cannot invite you back (Luke 14:12), This is how He described greatness as measured by love.

This is the way to heaven.

Roman Harmata PA