Beginning with the current September issue, you will find my reflections on the Sunday Gospels in CATECHIST magazine in a monthly feature called: “Sunday throughout the Week: Lessons for the Sunday Gospels.” I’m excited to be a part of CATECHIST magazine and its mission to support catechists with spiritual enrichment, classroom advice, useful materials, and creative ideas.
CATECHIST has been around for a long time – I used to read all the old copies that Sr. Blanche left in her office when I was a D.R.E.! Even the issues that were 10 years old (or older, God bless her!) were helpful to me.
The folks at CATECHIST have given me permission to publish one of my Gospel reflections per month on my blog. This coming Sunday is Catechetical Sunday. Many of you are catechists, so I wanted to share this Sunday’s reflection, with permission from CATECHIST magazine.
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September 20, Catechetical Sunday
Read: Mark 9:30-37
Reflect: Although this week’s Gospel reading is simply a continuation of Mark’s narrative, it seems it was hand-picked for Catechetical Sunday! The lectionary has provided a lovely meditation for catechists on this special day.
As Mark’s Gospel narrative moves forward, Jesus continues to teach his disciples that suffering awaits him in Jerusalem. Mark plainly states that his disciples do not understand. In fact, their disregard for Jesus’ message is so profound that rather than taking his words to heart, they begin to argue with one another about which one of them is the greatest.
But it is this self-centered and woefully human argument that prompts a great teaching moment from Jesus—and a moment that catechists should treasure. In order to teach the disciples about true greatness, Jesus places a child in their midst. He embraces the child. And then he says something unbelievable: to receive this child—to love him, teach him, embrace him—is to love Jesus himself, and in loving Jesus, to love the Father.
This message is for you on this Catechetical Sunday. You are not a catechist for the glory or the greatness. You never expected that. You are a catechist for the sake of the little ones. When you receive them, you already know that you receive the Lord. In this story, the child represents all of those who are often overlooked or who seem unimportant in the eyes of the world. To serve such a one is true greatness. As a catechist, you already get it: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be . . . the servant of all.”
Ask Yourself: How does my role as a catechist help me understand true greatness? Do I see Christ in the children I serve?
Ask Your Students: Did you know that Jesus taught adults they could love God by loving children? Does this make sense to you? Why or why not?
Pray: Lord Jesus, in my work as a catechist, I receive you as I receive the children in my life.
Reprinted with permission from CATECHIST magazine. For subscription information visit, catechist.com.