“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” (Matthew 20:28)

Talk about completely missing the point! Jesus lets the apostles in on the biggest news in history—that he was going to die and rise for all sin, and James and John have the nerve to respond by asking for places of honor and glory. It’s a wonder Jesus didn’t bang his head against the wall out of frustration! And the other apostles don’t come off much better. They were “indignant” all right, but probably because they were mad that they hadn’t made the request first!

Ever the patient teacher, Jesus turned James and John’s ill-timed request into an opportunity to clarify what he was all about—and what he expected of them. He made it clear that whoever among them wanted to be the greatest had to be the least, and whoever wanted to be first had to be last. By inviting James and John to drink his cup of self-sacrificing love, Jesus was inviting them to die to their old lives and to take up a new life of service of the gospel.

Today Jesus offers us the same invitation: to become the least, so that we can become the greatest ser­vants of the Lord. Do you want a good place in heaven? Then start by taking the lowest place on earth. Be a servant in your home. Seek to give rather than to receive, and to love rather than to be loved. Offer up some of your free time to volunteer in your parish or community. If up to this point you have looked more to be served, then your options are wide open.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you some ways that you can begin to take on a servant’s heart. If you are already doing a pretty good job at serving and giving, there may be ground to be gained in your attitude of heart while you are serving. Either way, know that Jesus will bless every effort you make. He will lift you up and fill you with his love and grace!

“Jesus, change my heart to be more like yours. I want to serve rather than be served and to love rather than be loved. Let me be last, so that you and your gospel may be first in my life.”

Jeremiah 18:18-20;

Psalm 31:5-6,14-16