Today’s Gospel passage has two parts: Jesus’ announcement again of his coming suffering and death, and a scene with the disciples arguing about who is the “greatest.” The disciples were following the common understanding of group status: to honor the influential and those who seem to contribute the most. Jesus points to the opposite: he honors the vulnerable, the “least” in the community; for example, a child. And he honors those who welcome the child.
Mark lectured how to live their faith to his own community in the early Church, who were seeking to learn how to live the will of God. God invites us into the divine circle of care and enlists us to extend our own circle to those around us, even if we have to live with suffering and trials.