Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (9: 30-37) in which Jesus is teaching his disciples and says to them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men. They will put him to death, and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again”.Fr Paul says this Gospel comes after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah. The road to Calvary then is marked out by three predictions of the Passion – that is the death and resurrection of Jesus. These predictions become more and more explicit. Each time the inability of the disciples to understand and accept the message is stressed. On this occasion they are too ashamed to ask any further questions. Each time one of the predictions take place the same things happen; The prediction of Jesus’ Passion; the disciples misunderstanding; and finally, the disciples must share the Cross of Christ. Fr Paul notes that, towards the end of this Gospel, we hear how Jesus also puts forward a child to show how the least honoured members of society should be treated. In modern era we are especially sensitive to the needs and rights of children. This was not the case in the ancient world, perhaps because of the high infant mortality rate: only a small minority of children would reach adulthood. So, the child here represents the most neglected segment of society, and Jesus chooses the child to stress that all human beings have infinite value, being made in the image of God. Jesus emphasises that all deserve the same respect, love and care. Fr Paul notes today’s Gospel Lesson – All human beings have infinite value. All human beings are made in the image of God. All human beings deserve respect, love and care.
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