An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”
John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Sam’s bike had a long, wobbly pole attached to its back, displaying a small, yellow, triangular flag. He rode past my house every day and always waved. Even though Sam had a developmental disability, he greeted everyone he met with kindness—much nicer than Rolling Rock Kids. Those boys, around my age, rode around the neighborhood (Rolling Rock Drive) stealing newspapers and tossing them onto the roof of the neighborhood rec center. Imagine my surprise when I came home from school and saw the Rolling Rock Kids surrounding Sam, laughing at him. I was infuriated. When our car pulled into our driveway, I leapt onto my bike and rode straight over to Sam. How could they make fun of this incredibly kind man?
Imagine my surprise again when I realized Sam was telling jokes, they were clapping at his punchlines, and they were all drinking Polar Cups together. The boys weren’t picking on Sam—I was picking on the boys. Jesus wants us to love one another and to see the best in others. I learned something about myself that day, and more importantly about whom is not against me.
—Austin Freeman is an English teacher and the Test Prep Coordinator forJesuit High School in Tampa, FL.
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola