“Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant……For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.”
Today’s Gospel presents us with a reality that affects all human beings, the thirst for power, that was not alien even to the Lord’s innermost circle, Peter, James, & John. We also find in the Gospel of Mathew the same situation with the mother of the sons of Zebedee asking the same question: Lord, what power will my sons have?
Jesus gathered the apostles and told them: “Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” This lesson given by Jesus was to “purify” the expectations that they had of power, sometimes like us.
The Church is human and divine and its human nature has historically lived these same pretensions as the sons of Zebedee.
It is important to reflect that the apostles did not follow Jesus because His doctrine to deny Himself and carry the cross convinced them. They did not change their lives and denied themselves by understanding and obeying – just as it can happen to you or me. It was only after living with Him, experiencing His life that they understood Him and obeyed Him to the point of giving their lives. Through Jesus they learned to do the will of the Father: “For the Son of Man did not come to serve”.
The path of happiness that Jesus proposes does not come through power, but to serve selflessly. We find that in the lives of the saints, the lay and religious people, their witness of life accompanied their moral authority. For example, Archbishop Roman, who in his eighties was a moral and religious authority with the rioters of prisons in our country thereby putting an end to this situation since they knew “that his words were backed by the testimony of his humility and a life given to the Lord, the Virgin, and thy neighbor”.
Let us pray to the Lord in the Eucharist to help us to purify ourselves of the disease that has plagued all the centuries, and in particular the twenty-first century. The disease of power and wanting to be first. The saints remind us that to follow the Lord, you “need to drink his chalice and be baptized in His baptism and serve Him until the final consequences”. This is the antidote that cures and strengthens us “to give our lives in the tiredness of every day with crosses and agoniesn with joys and
consolations, but always looking towards the Lord that initiated and completed our faith to the will of the Father.