Thursday, May 15, 2014

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

"Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be the slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" - Jesus

Gospel Text: (JN 13:16-20)
When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

As disciples of Jesus, we are called to give ourselves unconditionally to the service of our brothers and sisters. No matter what our state in life may be, we are called to give of ourselves with detachment from all worldly glory. We experience true evangelical freedom when we serve with a spirit of total detachment.

The egotist is saddened when he does not receive recognition for the good that he has done for others. When applause is not heard, when awards are not given, and when attention is not received, the egotist retreats from his good work and fades away in self-pity. Let us remember the words of Jesus: "When you have done all that is commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty'" (Luke 17: 10).

We all know that people can be very ungrateful for the service that is given to them. How many people thank those who give of themselves unconditionally? Parents, teachers, clergy, police, firefighters, doctors and nurses many times live thankless lives. Nevertheless, the Gospel calls us to give of ourselves unconditionally and seek as our only reward eternal life in heaven. This is true Christianity. Any other posture is simply rooted in egotism.

"Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" (Mark 10: 38). Jesus asks James and John if they can live the Cross? Can you be neglected, forgotten, die to yourself, and never seek praise from others? Can you be submerged in hatred, pain, and even death? The standard of greatness for Christianity is not earthly glory, but the Cross of Jesus Christ.

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