READINGS for 2009-03-11
“And if you want to be first, make yourself servant of all.” – Matthew 20:27
He started out in the lowest rank of the company, just like everyone else who just got accepted. I don’t how much he was paid but I was sure it wasn’t that much compared to the salaries people get right now. He did his job diligently, never complaining since he needed the job. Pretty soon, he got promoted and he made his way up the corporate ladder, earning a managerial position.
After a few decades in his job, he encountered some problems with some of his higher-ups but he still did not complain. Instead, he continued to do his job well. After some time, another company offered him a higher position. He accepted it, said goodbye to his old company, without any hard feelings at all.
My dad is now the general manager of an insurance company abroad. Even if he is already in a high position, he still continues to serve his company, his employees, his family, and most importantly, God. Tina Matanguihan
“Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion.... Service is what I bring to the relationship and is the reflection of my identification with the nature of God.” (Oswald Chambers)
Lord, teach me how to serve.
Why are these people conspiring to bring down Jeremiah? They do not like him because he has preached the truth and this has affected these leaders’ influence among the people of Israel. People are turning to Jeremiah for advice and direction rather than the chief priests and elders of the people. Thus they seek to find something in Jeremiah’s life that they can use to discredit him. When the same happens in our lives let us pray that there will be nothing people can use against us.
18 The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said, “Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets. And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue; let us carefully note his every word.” 19 Heed me, O LORD, and listen to what my adversaries say. 20 Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take my life? Remember that I stood before you to speak in their behalf, to turn away your wrath from them.
P S A L M
Psalm 31:5-6. 14. 15-16
R: Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
4  You will free me from the snare they set for me, for you are my refuge. 5  Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God. (R) 13  I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side, as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life. (R) 14  But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” 15  In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors. (R)
G O S P E L
Discipleship always carries a cost, and sometimes that cost is the greatest cost we can give — our lives. I believe Jesus knows by this time that He will go to His death in obedience to His Father’s will and that others will similarly be called. He thus tests the water, so to speak, with James and John, and asks them to what extent they are willing to be obedient to the call. It is doubtful that they realized the extent of what Jesus was saying, but at least they were willing to follow to the degree that they understood the call.
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19 and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. 21 He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” 23 He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left[, this] is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27 whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 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.”
think:Discipleship always carries a cost.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR James 1-5
i am your SerVanT, lord
I remember a professor of mine who said that one of the problems of our country is the problem of power, authority and position. If you are powerful, then you can dominate the powerless. Almost all dream to be powerful, to be authoritative, to own a position and especially to be the greatest among all. Filipinos will move things in order to get the position even though it will cause them harm and this happens during elections. I remember being so disappointed reading of corruption and cheating even at the level of the Sagguniang Kabataan.
In our Gospel for today, Jesus invites us not to be the great but to be a servant and slave. He wants us to be in service with others and with the Church. Jesus showed us an attitude of humility and simplicity. These can be expressed in three things: commitment, self-giving and stewardship. First, our commitment is very important in showing our fidelity to Jesus who was faithful to the plan of His Father. Second, by giving ourselves totally to God and by showing our love and concern to our neighbors. Lastly, we are invited to be stewards of all the things that God has entrusted to us. Therefore, we are servant and slave to each and everyone. Even those in higher positions are invited to become servants because their function is to serve the people and not for the people to serve them. Jesus is the best example of this humility as He said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many”(Matthew 20:28).
As we celebrate the season of Lent, we should remind ourselves that we are servants for others. “Lent” is the present tense of the word “lend.” Meaning, our life was given and lent by God to us and He has the right to take this life from us.Fr. Joel O. Jason
Our world values the maxim “first come, first served.” Jesus inverts the process. For the Christian disciple, it is “first come, first to serve.” Find ways and opportunities today to live out this Christian admonition.
Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the gift of life You have given us. May this reflection help us overcome all our anxieties, fears and reservations in life. May You be the center of our life as we celebrate this season of Lent. May we grow deeper in Your wisdom and love. Amen.
St. Eulogius of Cordova, Spain, Martyr, pray for us.
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