Faith and Family

Faith and Family for September 19: The Greatest in the Kingdom


Mk 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”


UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM

In the spring of 2003, a feature-length film appeared in theaters, telling the true story of Dietrich Bonheoffer, who defied Hitler and gave witness to the Gospel in the face of the Nazi tyranny. One of Bonhoeffer’s best-known books is The Cost of Discipleship. Its very title comes to mind as I read today’s Gospel. Here, Jesus teaches his disciples that he will suffer and die, but the disciples are not only baffled by what the Lord is telling them: they’re too busy arguing over who among them is the greatest!

Jesus must remind them once again that the Kingdom demands a lot of the disciple. True greatness lies in service. True disciples take the side of those who are powerless, like the little child Jesus embraces in the story.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer lived at a time when many religious people chose to ignore a great evil, or worse collaborate with it. Bonhoeffer wrote, taught, and eventually gave his life in a Nazi prison, to witness to what the Gospel demands: We must speak for the voiceless, even if our service costs us our own lives.

Today’s Christians may not face evil on such a global scale, but they nevertheless have lots of opportunities for true Christian witness. May Christ give us strength to consider, and to pay, the cost of discipleship.


DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM

According to the first reading (Wis 2:12, 17-20), what is the plan of the wicked? How will they treat the just one?

How do the wicked say they will test the just one?

Do they think that they will find if God will take care of him?

In the second reading (Jas 3:16-4:3), what is the fruit or result of true righteousness, true goodness?

James thinks that conflicts and war are caused by what?

In this week’s Gospel (Mk 9:30-37), Jesus and his disciples began a journey through Galilee. What was Jesus teaching them?

When they arrived in Capernaum Jesus asked the disciples what they were arguing about while the were still on the way?

Jesus said, “Who every receives a child such as this in my name receives me.” What is his point?


In the Understand section above, Father Greg talks about Dietrich Bonheoffer. Take some time to learn about this man who ultimately gave his life for another. Take some time to learn about Dietrich Bonhoeffer who ultimately gave his life for another.

Seek out an organization that focuses on helping children, such as this one. Find ways that you can be of assistance, either through donations or by volunteering.

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