Dear Sisters and Brothers,
This week’s is a most humane Gospel passage. It brings out the humanity of the disciples. It has Jesus teaching them and us what is involved in wanting to be great when it comes to discipleship and the Kingdom. When James and John ask to be preferred to the others for glory in the Kingdom and the other ten on hearing that Jams and John wanted to back raise them, Jesus tells them all, that it is not a bad thing to want to be great. What is bad is to seek that greatness so as to overpower and crush others.
Jesus tells the Twelve that what must not happen is that any disciple of his should want to be great so as to use that greatness to disadvantage others. They must want greatness so that they can be of service to others in need. To make sure that that unique approach is understood, Jesus said in the Gospel, “You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life…”
As disciples let us seek to be great and want to be first, but only so that we can be servants to all.
Fr. Clement Paul.