Today, on their way to Jerusalem heading towards the Passion, «the disciples were arguing about which of them was the most important» (Lk 9:46). Every day the media, and even our conversations, are full of comments regarding the importance of some people: whether others or ourselves. This kind of logic, which is strictly human, quite often results in an unreasonable yearning for success, recognition, admiration, gratitude, or in a lack of peace if these expected rewards fail to reach us.
Jesus' reaction to the thoughts of his disciples —and, perhaps, their remarks, too— reminds us of the old prophets' style. Before words come gestures. Jesus «took a little child and stood him by his side» (Lk 9:47). Afterwards, comes the teaching: «the least among you all, is the one who is the greatest» (Lk 9:48). —O Jesus, why is it so difficult for us to accept this is not an utopia for those who are not involved in the hustled and bustled in overwhelming activity, fighting one another for success, whereas, thanks to your grace, it could, instead, be enjoyed by all of us? If we could, we would deep down have much more peace and would be able to do our job with more serenity and joy.
This attitude is also the source where joy comes from, when seeing that others work well for God, with a different style to ours, but always on Jesus' name. The disciples wanted to prevent it. The Master, instead, protects those other persons. Once again, the fact of feeling as God's small children makes it easy for us to open our hearts to everybody while growing in joy, peace and thankfulness. This doctrine is what deserves St. Therese of Lisieux the title of “Doctor of the Church”: in her book Story of a Soul, she admires the Church as a beautiful garden of flowers, where she is happy to consider herself just a little flower. By the side of the great saints —roses and white lilies— there are the little ones —daisies and violets— intended to give pleasure to God's eyes, when He gazes at the Earth.