FIRST READING
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint James (James 4: 1-10)

Beloved: What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is in vain that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM     Psalm 55:7-8.9-10a.10b-11.23 (R. 23ab)
R/. Entrust your cares to the Lord, and he will support you.

I say, “O that I had wings like a dove,
to fly away and be at rest!
I would indeed escape far away,
and take refuge in the desert.” R/.

“I shall await him who saves me
from the raging wind and tempest.”
Engulf and confuse their speech, O Lord. R/.

Entrust your cares to the Lord,
and he will support you.
For I see violence and strife in the city!
Night and day they patrol its walls.
In its midst are wickedness and evil. R/.

Entrust your cares to the Lord,
and he will support you.
He will never allow
the just man to stumble. R/.

ALLELUIA  Galatians 6:14
Alleluia. Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
The Son of man will be betrayed. If anyone would be first, he must be last.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 9:30-37)

At that time: Jesus and his disciples went on from the mountain and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him. And they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the Twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
A desire to be great is in every human person and that is absolutely fine. That is why Jesus does not condemn his disciples for discussing ‘greatness’. His trouble with them however is in the standard for measuring greatness. The world presents greatness as having dominance or authority over others. Often, we think that in getting others to serve us, we are better than they. How wrong we are! Jesus however, teaches that true greatness consists in service. He uses the image of a little child as a symbol of simplicity and dependence. To be great indeed, we must recognize in humility our nothingness and dependence on God and others. Humility is the measure of true greatness.

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