Who is the greatest?

The title of today’s Gospel (Luke 9:46-50) is ‘Who is the greatest and using the name of Jesus’.

The mission of the disciples is at the very centre of today’s Gospel. Here we have the contrast of grown men arguing about their importance and, as they argue, Jesus putting a small child before them as the standard of importance.

This is followed very quickly by the next incident John raises, which wipes out any remaining element of self-importance. John says they were the ones called by Jesus as disciples but he raises the situation where a stranger is carrying out work in the name of Jesus. The question is raised, ‘Can a stranger be allowed to do the work of the Kingdom in the name of Jesus?

As we hear at the end of the Gospel, Jesus’ response is very clear and very simple; welcome the power of God wherever it is found.

Mindful of our own lives today, Fr Paul says we might reflect and pray over the question, ‘How self-important am I with the others around me?’