February 25, 2014

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

Reflection (Sem. Ramon Jamora,Jr.):

“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

          The Gospel reminds us of our identity as Christians and that is to be a humble servant. Just like Jesus, our Master, He totally humbled Himself by becoming human and by His death on the cross. It is quite clear that if we are to follow Jesus, we ourselves must be like Him, humbly serving others.

          When I was still working, my view of humility was too different from the Christian perspective. I always see humility as accepting who I am, what I have, and with what I can do. I would always brag about my achievements. I laugh at someone else’s mistakes, faults, ignorance, and sometimes appearance. I am humble if I get to be myself – being the best.

          I was too full of myself and it was always “I”, “I am the best”, “I am good”, “I look good”, etc… I never get to see others. If there were instances that I appreciated others, it was because they were of my standards or even surpassed it. I have always looked up to people especially those who gave their best in everything they do. I wanted to be like them. I even planned my way to climb the ladder of success and pride. I did my best to get high marks in performance evaluations. I was aiming high. All this was humility to me.

          When I entered the seminary, I was introduced to a very different perspective of humility. This time it was no longer full of myself but of emptying oneself. My personality seems to be out of place in the seminary. I am invited to configure myself on how Jesus sees and shows humility.

          There were so many instances that the call for humility was put to the test. I can only mention a few. There were times that I asked for forgiveness because I said something that offended someone. I carried heavy loads because someone needed my assistance. I silenced myself because their idea was better than mine.

          In following Jesus, the constant call of servant-hood and humility is always a challenge. In seminary formation, there will always be an opportunity to be humble. I am sure that I have a long way and perhaps a lifetime is not enough to perfect Jesus’ call to humility. I still urge you, sisters and brothers; let us begin our journey of being a humble servant, little by little every day.

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