30[Jesus and his disciples] left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. 31He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.” 32But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.
33They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. 35Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” 36Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, 37“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
What were you arguing about on the way? If you were Jesus, you would be deeply frustrated at the hard-headedness of the disciples. Here he is, telling them of his forthcoming passion, death, and resurrection, and what do they talk about? They are discussing among themselves on the way who is the greatest.
Patiently he corrects them, and tells them a lesson which, after many centuries, many of his followers and Church leaders have not been able to grasp: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” To be great is to serve the little ones. In them one serves Jesus and the Father who sent Jesus.
Greatness comes through service!
Take this lesson to heart and practice it.