Nazareth weekend with Little Brother Marc


“Whoever gives you a glass of water to drink because you belong to Christ, I tell you truly, he will not lose his reward” (Mark 9:41; Matthew 10:42).

In a context (Mark 9:33-34) in which the disciples are asking themselves the question, “Who is the greatest?” Jesus calls a child and replies,

“The greatest is the one who is little like this child; for he allows those who welcome him to welcome me, and to welcome the One who sent me”
(v.37). The greatest is the one who is little enough to allow his certainties to be overturned and recognise the good wherever it comes from, even places where one does not expect it to be (v.9). The greatest is the one who is little enough to ask for a glass of water: it enables someone to give to him and to show himself or herself as a brother or a sister and gain his (her) place in the Kingdom of God (v. 41).”

Perhaps we have assimilated too well the words that St Paul attributes to Jesus, “It is better to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  We like to give; we do not like to allow our needs to be seen, we do not find it easy to receive.  What we want to do to others (show ourselves to them as their brother or sister by coming to their aid, welcoming them, valuing them, making ourselves close to them) we do not permit them to do for us!  Journeying with them, in truth, without hiding our limitations and our needs, with our pettiness and our greatness, is perhaps giving them the possibility of considering us as their brother or their sister simply by giving us what we lack! ... That also is Nazareth, being little enough to allow the other to give the best of herself or himself.