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The silence of shame... 

(Mk 9, 30-37)

Last Sunday's gospel took us into the internal world of Simon Peter who is making his debut as the first pope. The profession of fisherman is left behind and now the fisher of men is called to a new profession, that is, Highest Pontiff.

But he cannot face a job of such magnitude in the way of men, he will need to adapt his thoughts to those of God and that is why he must learn the art of discernment.

To discern, as we said, is a verb that originates from Latin, it is an activity of the mind that helps to distinguish to resolve and decide. The life of the Christian is an active collaboration with the Holy Spirit whose action in us and the Church needs our collaboration through discernment so as not to be deceived by the spirit of evil that is always ready to devour us, therefore, we must be vigilant , or as we would say in Mexico, "Wow! because the errand eats us up"... And precisely so that the errand doesn't eat us up and doesn't catch us off guard, we need to enter the traveling school of the Master who knows well the art of discernment .

Jesus this Sunday presents himself to us as a teacher on the way, he does not stop, he is an andante, he is a traveler, he is crossing Galilee, but on this occasion he does not want us tonobody finds out because he is giving private lessons to the disciples. He cannot be distracted (Mc 9,30). This is the discernment of this day. He has reflected, he has made a scale of values and he has decided that at this moment what he has to do is be in private with the disciples; at other times he will give priority to the crowd, the sick, the mission, prayer, etc., but now it is convenient to be with the disciples to teach them in private.

His decision is probably based on the fact that neither Peter nor the disciples understood the harshness of Jesus' language and this since last week, so he decides to spend more time in private because he needs to repeat the lesson to them. And it goes again, for the second time but it is obvious that it is a hard lesson

"The Son of Man has to suffer a lot and be rejected but then he will rise again"...

but in this second repetition neither way, nor do they understand... the text in v. 31-32 confirms it "they did not understand" but also "they were afraid to ask him" (v. 31-32). We are in the eye of the hurricane of this gospel the disciples do not dare to ask Jesus and they will not answer him.

Arriving at Capernaum, already at home, a much more private place than the road, Jesus questions them about what they had been discussing in private, among themselves. He had heard them argue along the way, but he turned a blind eye, or rather deaf; He doesn't want to reprimand them, he doesn't want to expose them, he wants to make them feel free, that they can express themselves freely among themselves, that they build up trust so that they can be honest with each other. He lets them transparently be themselves because he wants them to know themselves and each other, they have the right "to think like men", "to freedom of thought" "to freedom of expression".

But he does not leave them alone or abandoned to their thoughts, so being at home, in private, without trying to embarrass them or embarrass them, Jesus simply asks them a direct question. What were they discussing along the way? Of course he knew, he had heard them, but now he wants to train them.

The verbδιαλογίζομαι -dialogizomai-It means bringing up more than two reasonings that confront each other and in this case, between more than two people. The disciples reason, each one considers and exposes his own thought, they discuss among themselves at the lThrough the Master's discourse they understand it in their own way from their own reasoning and interests.

If he asks them about the reason for their discussion, it is because he wants them to have the confidence to express themselves and to express their own reasoning to him, like Peter, to ask his doubts, but what is surprising is that the disciples either discuss among themselves privately or remain silent. before the question of Jesus, What a disappointment!

In the Greek the verbσιωπάω (siopao) means to keep silent, if the verb is transitive it means to keep a secret or refrain from talking about something, it can refer to the habit of silence, or to a quiet, calm silence. In the NT, we find this verb only 10 times, 9 in the Gospels / 1 in the Acts of the Apostles. In this passage the verb is intransitive, that is, it speaks directly of the disciples' attitude: they remained silent before Jesus, they did not respond (v. 34) and it is the only passage that speaks directly of an attitude of the disciples, the others texts refer to Jesus, the Pharisees, or other characters.

The question is why don't they respond to Jesus? why are they silent?

There are silences to silences... there is the silence of the innocent who cannot defend themselves, or whose opinion does not matter; there is also the silence of those who do not know, but are not ashamed to admit it, and do not hide it. But there are silences that are the result of fear, which is the main factor that makes us remain silent. We try to avoid the ridicule of seeing that I don't know or the fear of being wrong, of being myself and of being made fun of, 'the bullying', 'the cheek'. The fear of committing ourselves and it is better not to say anything because you do not know who you are in front of, or the fear of speaking clearly, yes, we love to gossip among ourselves, like the disciples, but we do not like to say things in front of the person with which things are not going well, or because we think differently, etc. How does fear move us to the point of being silent? In what situations? Am I willing to stop talking behind the scenes and decide to talk face to face with the interested party? Or am I still shaken by the eye of the hurricane, where the devil does his thing taking me to his land?

This week's gospel speaks to us of the silence of those who feel naked in front of the Master because they have been found red-handed, 'red-handed'.

This is what happened to Adam and Eve, they were naked in creation and were not afraid to appear before each other, neither among themselves nor before the Lord God as they were "they were not ashamed to be naked" (בושׁ -bosh- in Hebrew is to be ashamed), "they were not ashamed" Gn 2,25. But later, when the serpent was presented to them, not having discerned, they let themselves be deceived, they ate from the tree and the serpent ate their errand... they stopped believing in the word of the Lord, the origin of sin, and that is when they realized that they were naked (Gn 3,7).

The Gospel of Mark (Mc 3,34) tells us that the disciples were silent, and gives us the reason "in fact, during the way they had argued among themselves about who would be the most important". They had drawn their arguments among themselves, and expressed their opinions and thoughts about which of them would be the best.μείζων -meizon-, the most important, the one who by his ability, his virtue, his eminence or power should occupy the rank of greatest importance among them.

The disciples on the way hide and then remain silent... they do not have the simplicity to express before the Master their doubts or what they think or what they feel. Surely they, like us, sometimes find it difficult to accept that there are things that we do not understand that we do not assimilate or that we do not agree with him, with his ways, with his thoughts. The disciples in that apparent icy silence truly find themselves in the eye of the hurricane, they feel awake, naked before the Master in his deepest intentions and remain silent.

How many times does our pride hurt like Guille Mafaldita's little brother when we find ourselves before our own truth...  

But above all our pride hurts when we humbly find ourselves face to face with the Master, who knows us perfectly and from whom neither our thoughts nor our feelings are hidden.

"For there is no created thing hidden from his sight, but all things are in sight.

uncovered and naked before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account" (Heb 4,13).

It is the Good God that before his word our deepest thoughts and intentions are revealed, only and truly only if we allow ourselves to be challenged by it,

"because the word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword;

and penetrates to split the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow,

discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb 4,12)

but it is a pain that heals because it is the good God who is gaining our trust because he knows us and is not scandalized by our deepest thoughts or desires, because he is the good God who does not want us to live in the shame of someone who always has something to worry about. hide, is the God who removes from Adam and Eve the leaves that they had badly woven to cover themselves and he himself weaves tunics of skin, to cover their nakedness and he himself clothes them (Gn 3,21).

It is the God who, not long ago after a sincere encounter with him in the sacrament of reconciliation, made me cry profusely, not so much from shame, which I was not without, but from surprise because he forgave me. The priest invited me to recite the act of contrition. I told him that I was praying it in Spanish and he gave me absolution in Spanish. I felt extremely moved by this simple detail, because "the Lord knows me to the marrow of my bones and is not afraid to forgive me and confirms it by telling me in my own language."

The objective of Jesus is not to embarrass us, the objective of the Master is that amongWe trust in the sincerity of our own reality to enter into its truth, through concrete and personal gestures. In this Sunday's gospel, through a concrete gesture he makes them enter into the thoughts of the Lord. Faced with the disciples' refusal to speak, Jesus sits down, calls the disciples and makes them pass from their reality to enter the truth of God "If one wants to be the first, let him be the last and the servant of all".

Exactly, Jesus does not rebuke them for their thoughts, he does not rebuke them because they do not ask him, rather he answers their existential doubt, who will be the most important, the first? Jesu s' answer is clear: whoever wants... but needs to want to be the last, the slave, the one who serves. It is the logic of the service.

And in case it's not clear, he "takes a child" who in Jewish and Roman society is considered one with virtually no legal personality, one who can't fend for himself, one of no importance, "he puts it in their midst, embraced and said to them: whoever welcomes one of these welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me"; In conclusion, the most important in the Kingdom of my Father is the one who is simple as a child, does not pretend to be the first and has nothing, absolutely nothing to hide from the eyes of his creator, because he lives allowing himself to be embraced by the teacher in his smallness"

"Lord, you probe me and you know me, you know when I sit down and when I get up, hug me from behind and in front, all my paths are known to you" (Ps 139).

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