In today's gospel (Mark 9:30-37) the disciples are discovered to have been arguing about who was the greatest. In response, Jesus takes a child and declares it his ambassador, just as he is the emissary from the Father.
As startling as this must have been in its own context, to take a powerless child, a nobody in the world, and declare it one's representative, in my own prayer through this passage this morning I began to wonder if it might not have an even stronger meaning for us, and especially for us priests.
As happens frequently enough, I started to pray for those who have been abused by priests. Perhaps they, in a very particular and pointed way, are representatives of Christ in their crucified humanity. As a presbyter of the Catholic Church do I try to give myself the rotten and false consolation of telling myself that their crucifixion is someone else's fault? Or do I, as a priest of Jesus Christ and as one who at least desires to be a beloved disciple, seek ways to pray and weep at the foot of their crosses?