“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Some people say the wrong thing at the wrong time. An example of this is James and John asking Jesus to sit on Jesus’ left and right when he comes in glory. Prior to this incident, for the third time, Jesus tells the disciples that he will be handed over to evil men, he will be put to death, but on the third day he will rise. This warning goes in one ear and out the other. James and John are thinking only about themselves. Jesus asks them are they willing to drink the cup of suffering that he will drink and be baptized in the bath of suffering that he will be baptized in? They say yes, not knowing that indeed they will suffer and die as Jesus did. They will also rise as Jesus did. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, to give his life as a ransom for many. If you want to be great, you must serve the rest. If you want to rank first, you must serve the needs of all. Service is the name of the game. Service is the identifying mark of the Christian community.
We all realize how difficult it can be, at times to be of service to other people. Our own selfishness and self centeredness can get in the way of reaching out to others. We spend a lot of time looking out for ourselves rather than trying to be of service to others, especially if the people we are called to serve are difficult and troublesome. It takes a lot of God’s grace and sometimes great personal sacrifice to follow the example of Jesus who gave his life as a ransom for many.
Today is a good day to recognize and affirm the many ministries of service we have here at St. Francis; Liturgical ministries: proclaimers of God’s word, ministers of Communion, ministers of hospitality, musicians and choirs. These ministers help us worship God each time we gather together to pray and celebrate the Sacraments. We also have Educational ministries, the principal and teachers in our school, our volunteers who teach in our Parish School of Religion. These ministers help us to pass on our Christian faith to our children. We also have Social ministries like the volunteers in our parish food pantry who this past week prepared hot meals for people in our community. All these ministers try to follow the mandate of Christ to serve him in our brothers and sisters. There are also many opportunities for parishioners on an individual basis to reach out to those in need, by a simple phone call or a visit that shows our love and concern for each other. We do all these things in imitation of Jesus who serves us each day.
So we pray: Lord we thank you for giving yourself in ransom for our souls. We thank you for the many examples of service you performed during your public ministry, feeding the hungry, healing the sick and raising the dead. Help us to imitate you each day as we try to serve you in each other. May what we do be pleasing in your sight. Amen.