To be Christians is to do what Jesus did – ‘Serve’
Today’s gospel passage of Mark concludes with one of the most important sayings in the Gospel, summing up the purpose of Jesus’ messianic mission: “For the son of man did not come to be served but ‘to serve’ and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus’ own coming into this world was not for his advantage to himself but only to serve His Father, all men, and women. Jesus carefully teaches the significance of ‘Service’ (diakonia) and ‘Kenosis’ to the ‘sons of thunder’ who want to sit at Jesus’ right and left in His glory, Jesus’ image of authority is service, and image of greatness is ‘’ self- emptying love.’’ He tells his indignant disciples and us today that the greatest disciple is not the one who lords it over others as worldly rulers do. Rather the greatest disciple is the one who serves humanity (10:42). This Sunday We are being invited to imitate Jesus – ‘the great model of Saving Servant” in our faith and missionary journey.
Firstly, we are challenged to give our lives in loving service to others. As Christians, we are all invited to serve others – and to serve with a smile. Today the church is called to be a ‘servant church’. By the power of baptism, we all share in this ministry of service – an indispensable expression of her very being and nature. Serving implies initiative and creativity, knowledge and efforts to build a human, just and loving society.
Secondly, we are invited to servant leadership: Being a servant leader means putting the interests of others above your own. The essence, style and attitude of servant leadership is found in Philippians 2:3-5. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature God, …made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.” “Jesus is the source am model of authority in the church. Just as he washed his disciples’ feet, so too those in charge among us are called to serve and not to be served” (Oblates CCC 71).
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali – poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer and painter a great poet behind the three great national anthems of three nations, viz. Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. He was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913. He wrote this short, beautiful poem:
“I slept and dreamt that life was Joy;
Then I awoke and realized
that life was Service.
And then I went to work – and, lo
and behold, I discovered that
Service is Joy.”
Today’s Gospel teaches us that true happiness comes from surrendering ourselves completely in humble service to God through Christ. Let us become humble servants of all. “…if anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all” (Mark 9:34).
By Vijay Deivanayagam, OMI
Vocation Contact Central