|Whoever receives one such|
child in my name,
The apostles missed that. They were too busy establishing themselves in the first place. That was scene 2, a kind of backstory. It's almost a picture of James' earlier scenario. (They have yet to be transformed by the renewing of their minds.)
In scene 3, Jesus is sitting "in the house," setting the apostles straight. The top spots they are lusting after, Jesus says, go to those who "empty themselves and take the form of a slave"--or of a little child. Because there is "a greater grace" at stake.
By word and example, Pope Francis has been inviting us to take this Gospel to heart: to receive the little ones, the powerless and poor, as Christ; to make ourselves the servants of those around us--not with the disposition of a doormat, but with the attitude of someone who actually has something to give.
"If you only knew the gift of God!" Jesus told the Samaritan (John 4). My prayer today is to recognize the "greater grace" that is being offered me, especially when the goods I have my eye on don't come my way!