Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all

Saturday 18th September 2021

Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all

The disciples are an interesting bunch of people. When Jesus is telling them of His coming passion and death (Mark 9:30-37), they are not even listening. They are immersed in a quarrel over who is the greatest among them. Somehow we would really expect better from His followers. When asked by Jesus what were they arguing about, they were anything but proud of their discussion. They were in fact clearly embarrassed and remained silent. Jesus uses this occasion to point out to them what constitutes true greatness in God’s eyes. He says that true greatness does not come from having power and influence over people but consists in humble service. He tells His ambitious disciples that everyone is important and that greatness comes from being available to all people.

This is a very basic guide to the kind of followers Jesus wants us all to be. He challenges us. Isn't it true that we are rather like the disciples arguing on the road about which of them was the greatest? Are we always putting ourselves first and wanting the best of everything? It is easy for us to think of what we have as completely ours, with no thanks to anyone else. We fail to remember that we are stewards of the many precious gifts which God has entrusted to us and which he intends to be used in His service.

Being available for the needs of others means being present in a hundred and one ways as people need to be listened to, understood and appreciated. We are called to do the Lord’s work so that Jesus can give His love to others through us. Every life gives opportunities to serve those around. To be a disciple means being open to what God may ask of us at any given moment even in very small things.

Please do stay safe and well.

God bless you all!

Fr. Arsenio

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