Three times Jesus tells His disciples that He will be crucified and that He will rise from the dead.
He gives them details of how that will happen. He will be betrayed, mocked, scourged, condemned. He will die, but on the third day He will resurrect.
On all three occasions some of the apostles come to Him and ask Jesus that when He comes in His glory, that He grants them the right to sit at His right hand and left hand. They just did not understand!
- I believe. Help my unbelief – Mark 9:17-31
- The way of the Cross – Mark 8: 34-9.1
- Where can I get some help? – Mark 2: 1-12
You have to wonder why the disciples were devastated when Jesus is crucified on the Cross. Did they not hear about it from Jesus Himself? Why did they not want to believe when they were told by the women that Jesus was not in the grave, that He had risen?
Human nature has not changed. People then and even now fight over who is in charge, who has the most power. What causes these quarrels and fights amongst us?
Why did the apostles not understand Jesus? There is a very simple answer to this question. The disciples were not very good listeners. They placed an emphasis on only some words of Jesus and did not understand what He was saying. They were not listening.
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On the mountain Tabor, when God spoke directly to Jesus, and some of the same disciples, God said, “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him”. (Mark 9:7) They did not hear what God said. They were more interested in their own thoughts asking who was the greatest amongst them.
We are not good listeners also. We hear only what we want to hear, or what we expect people will say. Before they finish speaking, we are already getting ready to say what we want. We do not listen to each other. We want to convince others of our own point of view. In our world, the one who yells the loudest seems to think that he has won the argument.
We hear what God has to say, but then do not believe those words. We might think that everything is up to us and our own efforts. We think that our salvation simply depends on us being nice people and doing good deeds to people.
Jesus tells us that this is not the way it should be between us. He who wants to be first should be the servant for all.
Jesus knows our human nature. He forgives us. Today, He asks us to listen to Him, but He also asks us to serve others.
A good place to start would be in our family life. Usually that is where most of our personal pain is. We are celebrating the “Year of the Family”. Our own deeds may be one of the reasons that family life is in crises and threat. Today’s Gospel has an important lesson on how we can help. Let us listen to it.