An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
One of the hallmarks of Pope Francis’s papacy is the idea of “servant leadership.” He continually reminds us, through his words and his deeds that true leadership is about service. This is evident in particular in his Holy Thursday liturgies, where he takes care to wash the feet not only of ordained priests, as is often the custom; not only of men, as often is the custom; not only of Catholics, which is often the custom; but of all. He has washed the feet, for example, of Muslim women. The true leader is the servant of all.
In today’s Gospel, as Jesus places a child by his side, he reminds his disciples of the virtue of humility, simplicity and littleness. It’s not something that’s very popular today. It wasn’t popular among the disciples, either, who argued about who was the greatest. But littleness is a big part of the Christian life.
—Fr. James Martin, SJ, is the author of our special series of reflections in honor of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. Fr. Martin is associate editor of America magazine; a frequent commentator in the media; and author of many books, including, most recently, Jesus: A Pilgrimage and his novel The Abbey.
The life of Jesus is a life for others. It is a life of service. So let me ask you: when you help others, do you look them in the eye? Do you embrace them without being afraid to touch them? Do you embrace them with tenderness? Think about this: how do you help? From a distance or with tenderness, with closeness?
—Pope FrancisPlease share the Good Word with your friends!