The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle B of the 25th Week of Ordinary Time is Mark 9:30-37. 

Despite the numerous miracles (healing of thousands, walking on water, Feeding the 5000 and the 4000, the Transfiguration) and explicitly revealing His identity as the Christ and details of His coming Passion (Mark 8:31-33), the Apostles remain confused about Christ and themselves. After the Apostles lacked the faith to heal the demon-possessed mute boy (Mark 9:14-29), Christ offers a stinging rebuke, saying, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you?  How long am I to bear with you?” 

Christ speaks again of His coming Passion: “the Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men…” The “Son of Man” was a mysterious phrase, but not unknown to Jews, appearing over 100 times in the Old Testament and was associated with the Messiah. Still, the disciples are confused, perhaps because the Messiah was expected to be a political king who would take power rather than be murdered. Intimidated by the topic and Christ’s recent fiery rebuke, the disciples are afraid and conceal their confusion. 

Insecure and still far from their future saintly holiness, the disciples childishly argue among themselves about which of them is the greatest. Nothing is hidden from Christ’s watchful gaze and when they arrive in Capernaum, He asks about their discussion; they are too ashamed and afraid to respond. To rebuke their prideful desires and teach them about true greatness, Christ calls the Apostles and reveals that they must be “servants to all”; to drive the point home, He cradles a young boy in His arms and commands that they must “receive one such child” in His name if they are to receive Christ and His Father.  

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of Man, Christ is the long-awaited MessiahDivine King, Christ is direct in His commands and strikes fear and awe in His disciples.  Divine Prophet, Christ offers mysterious prophecies of His coming Passion. Divine Teacher, Christ brilliantly teaches through words and symbolic actions. Heroic Man, Christ is adamant about the need for men to protect and care for children. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) A politically-correct, sweet and feminized Jesus is falsely promoted by some to make Christ more “acceptable” to the oversensitive  and the unrepentant.  The true Christ speaks with fearsome authority and often instills a holy fear in men, calling them to greatness. Reflect upon the Apostle’s fear of Christ. 

2) In contrast to the post-modern culture that worships prideful self-esteem, Christ’s confirms that deep humility is a requirement for Heaven. Reflect upon the sin of Pride and the need to have a Poverty of Heart (CCC 1866, 2544-2547; 2559) and pray for Christ to help you grow in humility. 

3) In contrast the abuse of children (contraception, abortion, casual fatherhood, breakup of marriages, sexual abuse, neglect) so sadly prevalent today, Christ calls men to the heroic protection of children. Review the Catechism’s teaching on Abortion (CCC 2270-2275) and the Duties of Parents (CCC 2221-2231) and pray for Christ to help you become a better spiritual father to all children and to fiercely protect both unborn and born children.