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In the marketplace of life, the question of who matters most often clamors for our attention. It’s a question that echoes through the ages, resonating even in the hearts of the disciples who walked alongside Jesus two millennia ago. Mark’s Gospel captures this timeless debate, illuminating the distractions that clouded their minds.

Was it the prideful boasting after an exorcism, or the comparison game sparked by the transfiguration? Regardless of the specifics, the disciples were ensnared by the allure of greatness, their focus diverted from the profound teachings of their Master.

Yet, amidst their bickering, Jesus gently redirects their gaze. He reaches for a child, a symbol of vulnerability and innocence, and cradles them in his arms. In this simple gesture lies a profound truth: true greatness stems not from the pursuit of power or prestige, but from humble service to others.

Jesus dismantles the world’s definition of greatness, where success is measured by accolades and achievements. Instead, he unveils a kingdom where greatness is found in selfless acts of love and compassion. It is found in lifting others up, in feeding the hungry, in comforting the sorrowful.

The path to this greatness, however, demands sacrifice. It requires us to crucify our selfish desires and fears, to tear down the walls that divide and hoard. It beckons us to embrace the cross, where death gives birth to new life.

As we embark on our Lenten journey, let’s heed Jesus’ call to embrace the way of the cross. Let’s fix our eyes on the ultimate act of selflessness, drawing strength from the promise of resurrection. For in dying to ourselves, we discover the abundant life that God desires for each of us.

May our arms be opened wide in service, our hearts overflowing with love. And as we journey through the wilderness of Lent, may we find joy in the abundant life that awaits on the other side of the cross.

May God’s peace find you today. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… Gracious God, help us embrace true greatness found in selfless service. Open our eyes to the beauty of sacrificial love. Amen.