GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings) DATE: 25TH JULY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 25TH JULY 2017
FEAST OF SAINT JAMES
FIRST READING: 2Corinthians 4:7-15
PSALM: Psalm 126:1-6
GOSPEL: Matthew 20:20-28
Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve… You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.”
In our Gospel text, Jesus proposes to his apostles the image of a servant. Ten of the apostles had become indignant with the other two who had expressed their desire, courtesy of their mother, to sit one on the right and the other on the left in the Kingdom of Jesus. Jesus addresses them saying, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt. 20:25-28).
Metaphorically, the servant/slave (doulos in Greek) is one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will. Hence, by proposing the image of a slave (servant) to his apostles, he challenged them to let go of self-centeredness and rather seek to do the will of the one who called them.
There are a number of selfless leaders in the religious, political and socio-economic spheres. However, sad to say, there are a lot more leaders whose primary objective is to siphon wealth out of those placed under their care. For such leaders, the primary question is what can I get for myself and what can I achieve for myself? It is all about the “I” – the ego. Consequently, our religious, political and socio-economic terrains are filled with many egocentric leaders.
A follower of Christ surrenders his/her human will to the divine will and because of that the power of God becomes operative in him/her. Paul writes, “We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us” (2Co 4:7).
The Lord did great things with the apostle James, whose feast we celebrate today, because he had a heart of a servant and was docile to the promptings of the Spirit. The same power of God that was at work in James is available to anyone who is willing to serve.
The path to greatness is service and the most honourable people are those who take delight in serving others.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, here am I to serve. Just give the command and I will be on my feet. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).