But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’ (Mark 10:31)
“Go for gold!” “We won!” Much of our society is focussed on being a ‘winner’. That might be in sport, or education, or life. There is nothing wrong with ‘winning’ (references to Charlie Sheen aside) – but what of those who are called ‘losers’? They are often looked down upon. Indeed, their lack of ‘winning’ in life is seen by some as an indictment against them. This passage continues the Jewish focus on those ‘on the outer’, described in the Jewish scriptures as ‘the widow, the poor and the stranger’. This great overturning seen in the synoptic gospels is true to their Jewish heritage and distances the followers of Jesus from those who ‘cozied up’ to the Romans.
The societal pressures on young people to be a ‘winner’ includes good grades, a good tertiary course, good job. What of the good that is in each of us that comes from God? We must tell young people, we must ensure that they know that they are good as they are. The service opportunities that are provided to young people should reinforce the God-given dignity of all involved. Not doing, but being is winning. And while we’re at it, we can remind ourselves!
Have a great week!