“To Serve or Not?”
By Father Frank Hernandez
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).” Words from Jesus to the apostles to remind them of why they are following Him and where their attention should be. Two of the apostles wanted more from Jesus and asked for a place of honor. This did not go well with the others and they started to act differently with them, but Jesus uses this encounter as a teaching moment to help center them on the mission again. Following Jesus means that we will be of service to others and in that service, we will receive our greatness.
There is nothing wrong with wanting more in our lives, but it all depends on the intent of why we want more. If we want more money because we have some unexpected cost or more food because family is coming to visit; that is fine and normal. But if we want more money just so that I can spend it on myself and not worry about others or because I want to have the newest cell phone which cost over $1000.00 or I want to be the center of attention and I know this position will give me that, plus more power over my co-workers. Jesus is reminding all of us that to have more is not bad, but how do we look and use that more, but also how do use it in service of others.
All of us have a position of authority in our lives. At home, parents with their children. Older brothers or sisters with the younger ones. Aunts, uncles and grandparents. At school, teachers with their students; administration over the teachers and grade levels over the others as well. Work, manager and employee dynamic. Our society has these positions of honor and privilege, but how do we use that authority towards others? Do we use it for the good of others or for our benefit? I can relate to this gospel also.
As a leader of a faith community, I have power in my position and in how the church should function every day. But, I am called to live this gospel in a real way. Yes, I have this special place of honor, but I am called to be the example of service as Jesus is calling us today. That means that I also pick up the mop and broom to clean the church, I am called to help at all the functions we may have. It is not my place to tell others to get the job done and leave them working. I have to live the example of Jesus just like all of you, but I will be judged more because I represent the person of Jesus.
How can we all focus more on service to one another, helping each other in our daily lives and not focus on authority which takes us away from those relationships with others?