The first reading tells us about how the virtuous will always be challenged by non-believers. Non-believers challenge the church’s teachings and our beliefs as they do not understand what it means to be living in Jesus’ footsteps. They do so because it is easier to criticise and judge rather than to accept and change, especially when what we say or do makes them feel uncomfortable. This feeling of uneasiness stems maybe from them not living in accordance with their conscience.


Sometimes the ones persecuting us are those close to us. This hurts, and we wonder if turning a blind eye would be better.


The psalmist cries out to God to save him from his enemies when he is persecuted as he has utmost faith in God – are we able to do the same in our lives and hold firm in our belief in God? Just as Jesus was despised and forsaken, we too bear the sufferings of persecutions by the people in our lives. As our Father delivered Jesus from his enemies, we too must believe that he will deliver us, and depend on God as our stronghold.


The second reading reminds us of the importance of focussing on things that unite rather than divide us. While we all desire a harmonious life, the truth is that we often live in conflict and disorder. This conflict and disorder stems from our own selfish desires and ambitions. When we act according to our own wills and are willing to harm others to get what we want, conflicts arise. While some conflict is unavoidable as we err in our human ways, we must not allow them to tear us apart.


Resolving conflicts and working for peace brings us closer to God. We need to put our worldly ambitions/desires aside, and not let our ambition and selfishness destroy our communities and families. When we pray for God’s guidance and blessings, God will provide what we truly need, in accordance with his plan for each and every one of us. Wisdom and guidance from God above is pure and full of compassion – it preaches of love and kindness, and promotes peace and harmony.


In today’s Gospel, we see the disciples being distracted by their ambitions and arguing about who was the greatest while Jesus was telling them about his mission. We also see this in our daily lives where we see personal ambition take precedence over our call to live as children of God. We see fighting, gossiping and aggression and where these exist there cannot be peace. We are reminded to live our lives in humble service to God and others.


When we follow Christ, we may not see or understand the bigger picture, or his plans for us.


However, we need to bear in mind that it is not about accumulating honour, power or wealth but cultivating relationships of love and service. We are also reminded that we should not get ahead of ourselves – as followers of Christ we are called to be servants of all, rather than the greatest of all. We have a duty to lead others to Christ and serve others.


Written by

Ephrem Music Ministry