“Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Mark 9:37 

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Mark 9:30–37

This quote from the Gospel of Mark would have been challenging to Jesus’ audience. In the time of Jesus, children would not have had any special social status or even legal rights. They would have been completely dependent on others for anything they needed in life. But Jesus embraces the children of his day – social status or not. 

This act is hugely symbolic. Not only is Jesus saying that children need to be valued and cherished. He is also saying that all persons in society who don’t have a special social status or special legal protection need to be cherished. One could mention a long list of people who might fit this description in our modern society. After all, we are all human beings, and we all are worthy of being valued. But not all members of our modern communities are seen to have equal worth. 

Instead of listing categories of people who Jesus might be referring to today, perhaps this is an opportunity to make the Gospel more personal.

We could take some time today to think about the people in our lives who we undervalue. Are there any persons in our lives who deserve our love and respect but who are not receiving this from us? 

Loving God,

You invite us to be attentive not only to those whom society loves, but to all persons you have created. Transform our hearts and minds so that we can love our neighbours more deeply and fully.


Rev. Grant Tungay SJ

Fr Grant Tungay SJ is a lawyer by training, he left a career in law to join the Jesuits. He specialised in human rights law and has done volunteer work at the SA Human Rights Commission and also worked as an intern for the Centre of Applied Legal Studies at WITS. He worked at the Jesuit Institute South Africa for a few years in the area of social justice and is interested in the overlap between law, social justice and spirituality.

See more from Grant Tungay SJ
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