They went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."
John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward." Mark 9:30-41
This morning after breakfast in the convent, our driver came to take us to the hermitage of St. Francis or the Carceri. A holy place high on the hills above this holy city. Snow had fallen last night, and the mountainous roads, full of swtich-backs and sharp turns was incredibly treacherous, It was a scary trip so early in the morning but Gionni was very skilled. We arrived to a silent place, only one man leaving. We hiked from where the car had to stop and climbed up the rest of the way. A spectacular view was overshadowed by the silence and holiness of the place. A sacred place, which made us feel truly humbled. To be where Francis slept and prayed, who lived with the least, welcomed all, and in so doing, brought new life to the church.
Jesus speaks to his followers about the need to be best, first and the greatest. He told them it gets in the way of where God is calling us. God is calling all of us to serve the most vulnerable- children, the poor, the hungry,the sick and the imprisoned,We dwindle when we lose sight of where and to whom we are called. God makes sacred the most humblest of places and people.
Today, as we get ready to leave Assisi, I want to remember the lessons of Francis visited today. May we all, renew our faith as we give up prestige and offer a hand to others. May we be one with creation and see God.s beauty surrounding us today.