The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time
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.”
“If anyone wishes to be the first, he shall be the last of all and servant of all.”
With this passage from the Gospel reading today, I started my reflection with this question, “What do we want to be?” For me, Jesus was referring to the Kingdom of God. Thus, I would say that, if we want to be the first to inherit the Kingdom of God, we have to be the last and the servant of all here on earth.
The life of Jesus here on earth was that way. He was the lowliest servant, despite the fact that He was God. Jesus did not ask for anyone’s acknowledgement or recognition. He did not choose to be well off. Rather, He chose to be one of the poorest so that He could serve people as one of them. Jesus did everything out of His obedience to the Father and that obedience was not made out of coercion but by choice. Jesus chose to be poor, to be a servant and to be one of the lowly.
As a seminarian, this poses a deeper invitation for me to choose a life that is patterned on the way of life of Jesus, a life of the Cross. I must choose to be simple in the midst of the material gifts that I may be given by people. I must choose not to indulge in the attentions, entitlements and other perks that people may give me on account of my being a seminarian.
To be the last and servant of all is not something many in our world today choose as a way of life, even by those who want to follow Jesus.
At the end, I am confronted with a decision to choose Jesus and His way or to be the first and master in this world.