Who really finishes first?
Twenty-Fifth Sunday (B)

The book of Wisdom, which we have on this Sunday, was written in Hellenistic Egypt, in Alexandria, in the first-century BC As a word of God it speaks to us still today. Try to read with me the reading of today Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 and find out that today like yesterday, the wise person finish first. In fact you will find with me that the wicked of today like the one of yesterday has the same purpose: "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training" Wisdom 2:12

We do have say in our modern society: "Nice guys finish last". The Holy Scripture has it as you see different. The nice guy, the wise one, the generous one finishes before the bad ones. A Mom or a dad who provide the best education and spirituality for children suffer more than careless parents. A peacemaker who works for justice and peace endures more than a person who calls for violence. A good business person who tries all his best to deal with honesty many times makes less money, than the person who lies and deals with dishonesty.

But why? St. James in the second reading has the answer: "Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. But wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without inconstancy or insincerity". James 3:16

I prefer to finish first than becoming a dishonest, a liar, a person who will loose even the trust on himself. St. James asks a question and gives the answer: "Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? It is not from your passions that make war within your members?

Jesus in today Gospel brings a child and, to his disciples who started to argue and perhaps to fight for who is the first, he said: "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me..." Mark 9:37. What are the criterions of greatness in our world?
A high social standard, money, celebrity, important PR, science, important business? For today Gospel: is a child. "You are looking for greatness, Jesus would say to his apostles, become like this child". Mat. 18: 3

A wise person and a child for the Holy Scripture are the people who will win the world at the end: "Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land" Mat. 5:5. They may finish first because of the many injustices in the world but they will win first.
Jesus finished first, before the high priests, before Herode and Pilote, but he won.
The life of the saints are full of many examples for persons who finished first but at the end.

Continue then to be good, fair, just, honest, sincere and do not worry about the people who will say "With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience" Wisdom 2:19