As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?” She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, "We can.” He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Every time I read this Gospel passage the part that stands out to me is “Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
One of the reasons this stands out to me is because I grew up in a small town and competed in almost anything I could. When a person competes, it is only natural to want to be a winner, to try their best and hopefully come out on top, maybe be number one. Our world teaches this. Those that are number one, or best at what they do, are the ones who get recognized, and many people make them out to be role models.
So is this the model that Jesus wants us to follow? Does He want us to be the “GOAT”? (Greatest Of All Time) No, I think it is the world that teaches this and it is actually hard to try to be the best at something, but easy in that people will understand that mentality and drive. What Jesus teaches is to be the servant and serve others. Our PAPA Philosophy is Pray, Serve, Bless (PSB). Why do we need to be reminded to do good and to Serve and Bless others? Shouldn’t this just be what we do? Does anyone else find this hard to do beside me?
With so much media in our world giving us the images we should be like, whether it is the wealthy business man image, or the victorious athlete, the successful actress or the image of a Harvard student, we are bombarded with what the world teaches more than ever. This is why it is so important for me (and hopefully others) to take this Gospel to heart and really focus on serving.
Lay people are not the only ones affected by the teaching of the world and all the media images. Our priests are also. Please remember to keep them in our prayers. PAPA is offering for Lent “40 ACTS OF REPENTANCE WITH PRIESTS”. These are prayerful meditations that are written by our PAPA Spiritual Director. Please take the time to check it out as we pray for our shepherds here on earth, who are trying to lead us back to Jesus through the Gospels.
“Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
May God bless us all