The spirit of detachment
February 25, 2020
7th Week in
1st Reading: James 4:1-10
Gospel: Mk 9:30–37Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into human hands. They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise.” The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they did not answer because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, “If someone wants to be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child, placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me but the One who sent me.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
As Jesus was pouring out his heart to his disciples over his impending Passion and Death, the disciples were thinking about power and greatness. The least they could have done was to listen to Jesus with sympathetic ears. But their craving for power was just too intense, and not even Jesus’ apparent need for sympathy could disrupt their bickering about who among them was the greatest. They knew deep in their hearts that this was irregular. In fact, when Jesus asked them what they were discussing on the way, they did not answer. Shame must have taken the better part of them.
Lest like the apostles we too stand indifferent to the concerns of Jesus let us examine our values. It is hard to understand the standards of heaven when our hearts beat for the standards of earth. The pulse of the heart for earthly concerns can drown the softer groaning of the spirit. To understand the language of God we must make our spirits cry out louder for the things of heaven. This can happen only when one has the spirit of detachment. The challenge then is to have greater love for the things of God in our hearts.
This Gospel challenge timely introduces us to the Season of Lent, which opens tomorrow with our observance of Ash Wednesday. Let us take seriously the invitation of the Church to practice discipline of the body in order to give way to the groaning of the spirit. The least we can do on Ash Wednesday is to fast (eat only one full meal during the day) and to abstain from meat in order to dispose ourselves to listen to God’s Word. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., JD, DM, MAPM.
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