Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature Monday 1st October 2018
Gospel: Mathew 18:1-5
Previously Luke had presented the convergence of the men around Jesus, now, a new stage is opened in his public itinerary. The person of Jesus does not monopolize the attention of the crowds any more but he is presented as the one who slowly is being drawn away from his own to go toward the Father. Such an itinerary foresees his journey to Jerusalem, and Jesus reveals the destiny that is awaiting him. 
The enigma of Jesus being delivered broke out a great dispute among the disciples to decide to whom the first place would belong. Jesus, who knew how to read hearts, intervenes with a symbolical gesture. Such a gesture is an indication of election. 
Jesus gives a word of explanation. the Lord considers “great” anyone who like a child knows how to accept God and his messengers. Salvation presents two aspects: the election on the part of God which is symbolized by the gesture of Jesus who accepts the child: and the acceptance of the one who has sent him, the Father of Jesus (the Son) and of every man. 
The two aspects of salvation are indicative also of faith: in the gift of election the passive element emerges; in service, the active one; two pillars of the Christian existence. “To be great” about which the disciples were discussing is not a reality of something beyond, but it refers to the present moment and is expressed in the ‘diaconia’ of service. And then missionary activity has to be in the service of God and not to increase one’s own fame or renown.