Not Condemnation, but a Call to Action
Photo Credits to James McNaueal
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Having grown up attending weekly Mass with my family, sometimes I find myself glossing over scripture passages with the mentality that I've been there, done that, had it explained to me in countless homilies... but the word of God is living, it reaches us where we are if we are receptive to it. When I read the passage above earlier this week as one of the daily readings, my initial reaction was that of having read it before and "decoded" it already. But then I stopped. As I finished reading that day's gospel, something new clicked.
I had always approached this passage as a sort of condemnation, or warning. "If you make yourself too important in the eyes of the world, you'll get smushed." I read it as God saying that if you tried to be ambitious, he didn't want you.
I never delved too far into this passage because of this. I'm young, I have dreams! I have ideas and hopes for the future, and none of them feel particularly small to me! I didn't even want to try to reconcile those with this passage, but preferred to kick it under the bed with the rest of the things I don't know what to do with.
But this week when it popped up in the daily readings, God showed me that this is not a condemnation but a call to action. He is not warning us away from ambition with the threat of humiliation. Rather, he is guiding us to follow in his own footsteps- that of a servant. He is beckoning us towards this call, this vocation to love.
He is asking us to consider- how do my passions and daily life bring glory to God? How do they serve Him and His children?
Meditate on this calling as you go about your day. Ultimately God is looking for you to do all that you do with abundant love, just as he so graciously modelled for us.