Greatness, by Jesus

Matthew 20:17–28
Martin Luther King Jr commented on greatness, the way of Jesus:
"And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important – wonderful. If you want to be recognized – wonderful. If you want to be great – wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness.
“. . . by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.
"You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."
Come, Holy Spirit, teach me about true greatness in your kingdom.  Give me a heart and a disposition that seek to serve and not to be served, to love more than to be loved, and to give rather than to receive."

Picture of Therese of Lisieux with quote

Lord, I am unworthy servant

Luke 17:7-10
Who is greater: the one who sits at the table or the one who serves?  Jesus turned the idea of greatness on its head, linking true greatness with true service.
The prayer of tye true servant is the prayer of the unworthy servant, “Lord, I am an unworthy servant.  I have only done my duty."
How many strive for this level of total commitment and dedication?
The point, though, is that this kind of service is rooted in love.  When we consider the ternder mercy of God towards us we can glimpse the truth that we are unworthy servants – we all compete not for the highest place but for the lowest.
This is what makes the Christian faith so attractive and compelling: those who embrace a life of such loving service are truly signs of contradiction in a selfish and often hedonistic world.
Lord, I am an unworthy servant and when I serve my brothers and sisters I only do my duty. 

The importance of listening – Martha or Mary?

Luke 10:38-42
Mary did what Martha didn’t — she made time.
We know in our own hearts that the decision to find time to pray is often harder than the decision to attend to work, write another email, make a telephone call etc . . .
Today we put out into the deep in expectation of encountering the Lord in a new way in prayer.  Today we rejoice in the pearl of great price, the ‘one thing’ that is needed, which is to be still and know that God is God.
“Prayer means launching out of the heart towards God; it means lifting ones’s eyes, quite simply to heaven, a cry of grateful love from the crest of joy or the trough of despair; it is a vast, supernatural force that opens out my heart and binds me close to Jesus.” Ste Thérèse of Lisieux.

Maundy Thursday

Today's Gospel reading: John 13:1-15

Jesus washes the feet of his disciples; he humbles himself to them to show them how they must serve each other.

'Jesus, come, my feet are dirty.  You have become a servant for my sake, so fill your basin with water; come wash my feet.  I know that I am bold in saying this, bur your own words have made me fearful: "If I do not wash your feet you will have no companionship with me."  Wash my feet, then, so the I may be your companion.  But what am I saying, "Wash my feet"?  Peter could say these words, for all that he needed washing were his feet.  For the rest, he was completely clean.  I must be made clean with that other washing, of which you said, "I have a baptism with which you must be baptised."'  (Origen)


(from Bible Alive)
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