This XXV Sunday in Ordinary Time, Monsignor Carlos Castillo, Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, made a call to overcome that wild vision of life that consists of personal ambitions, competing violently and understanding the other as an enemy.
«We still do not have serving structures, a serving national organization, a serving mentality, and for that we need to promote a culture of service and not of servants, from the first place to the last, to be available to help the Other without taking advantage or personal benefit» , Monsignor Carlos Castillo, Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, said in his homily this XXV Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The announcement of the Lord’s passion
Commenting on the Gospel of this Sunday (Mk 9, 30-37), the Archbishop of Lima explained that Jesus wanted to converse intimately with his disciples to transmit to them something that comes from the depths of his being: the Son of man will be handed over to him. Men’s; they will put him to death, and three days after his death, he will rise again. «These things had happened with many prophets in the history of the people of Israel, as has happened in our Peruvian history – Monsignor Castillo said – so many righteous people who have died for the homeland, so many people abandoned by those who ruled, how many of our national heroes are today martyrs, because they were abandoned by those who should have helped them.
The Son of man is to serve and not to be served
In that sense, Monsignor Castillo pointed out that Jesus places these people in his history and collects this image of the Son of man, which also refers to everyone who has lived fairly and has not responded with the same tricks of the vengeful : «Jesus has announced the Gospel, He decides to go to the center, to Jerusalem – where there are those who want to kill Him – to announce something new to them: God is love and only love. He has come to put as a principle that the Son of man is to serve and not to be served. This situation of pain and injustice is also experienced on a day-to-day basis, said the Archbishop of Lima, when people are insulted, offended and attacked. “These terrible things happen to us because there is an attitude of enclosure and greed that prevents us from seeing the Other, seeing the needs of others.”
Overcome the vision of violent competition and selfishness
Likewise, the Primate of Peru reflected on the attitude of the disciples, who argued over which of them would be the first: “When ambitions possess people, we forget others, we act based on what is convenient individually. Who is first? Who is stronger than another? Who is my competitor to be able to destroy it? That wild vision of life where we are all the time competing almost violently, understanding the Other as an enemy, is what the Lord wants us to overcome ». To explain this, Jesus instructs his disciples on the importance of being the first, but simply positioning themselves as servants, without seeking prestige or bragging, but proposing inventive ways to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord in the midst of our daily lives.
God calls us from the Other, he challenges us
The Archbishop of Lima also explained the gesture that Jesus made when placing a child in the midst of all: “Children, in the time of Jesus, had no rights, a child was a ‘non-human’, because by not having rights, you could do whatever you wanted with it. A child is put in the middle by Jesus to say that every believer, every true disciple of the Lord, and every human being, is called to welcome the ‘non-person’ ». For this reason, Jesus receives the child, embraces him and reminds us that to receive a little one, a needy, a poor person, a child, is to receive God himself: «This shows us that the identity between God and the Poor is fundamental, and this has a very great importance for our faith, because sometimes we believe that God is simply ‘the one who is above’. God ‘is the one who is’ in the heart of every human being, especially the wounded human being, and therefore, God calls from the Other, he challenges us ».
Homily of Monsignor Carlos Castillo, Archbishop of Lima, Peru