For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mk 10:45).
As fully God and fully man, Jesus taught and modeled for his disciples a contrarian view of how to live in our world. He rejected the pursuit of worldly honor and power during the time of his earthly ministry. Jesus redirected any attention drawn himself to his Father. He epitomized the exact opposite of the cult of personality by emphasizing what is most important is developing a relationship with God and following his will by serving the needs of others, even to the point of suffering and dying to open up access to heaven for us. Jesus gave his life to pay the ransom of our sin.
On our own we cannot achieve this freedom of service. As the disciples, James and John from today’s Gospel, showed that they did not understand Jesus call to service. But having experienced, studied and mentored with Jesus, experiencing his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, they remained true and faithful and came to a place of transformation through their openness to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, where they came to fulfill what Jesus first saw when he called them to leave their boats and follow him.
This is true for us as well. Jesus sees not just our impulsiveness, pride and selfishness, our woundedness and our sin, but he also sees our potential and the fulfillment yet to be actualized. Jesus calls us to a way of life that embracers serving as he served, yet in the unique way and charism that our loving God and Father has created us and formed us. He has sent the Holy Spirit to meet us in our present condition, to guide and empower us with his love, so to draw us deeper into the Mystery of God.
May we be open today to receive and experience the love of God, so to resist the temptation of power, pride, and fame in ourselves, to resist supporting a cult of personality within ourselves and directed toward others. In this way, we will better be able to love and take care of ourselves, by entertaining proper thoughts, making time for prayer, worship, study, healthier eating, exercising, and engaging in virtuous activities. By developing a foundation of being loved by God and loving him in return, we will properly love ourselves, so to better serve Jesus and follow his lead to be present to and serve one another in our needs.
Photo: A new day for us to love God, love ourselves, and to love others. Sunrise at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. Come for retreat: https://www.ourladyofflorida.org/
Link for the Mass readings for Sunday, October 21, 2018: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102118.cfm