Meditation for the Day

Wednesday, March 20

May We Become Servants of Divine Love for the Sake of the Fulfillment of God’s Kingdom Here on Earth, Seeking Always to Serve Rather Than Being Served

In today’s Gospel, we heard our Lord speaking to His disciples, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

When you and I think about all the struggles we have in this life – taking care of family, worrying about our children, meeting the demands of an employer, ensuring that the bills are paid, and so many other responsibilities that take up so much of our time – where do we see ourselves in the way we live our relationship, on a daily basis, with Jesus Christ?

Do we view ourselves as servants of God’s will, embracing the virtues of humility and self-sacrificing love, selflessly caring for others whom God has placed in our midst, or do we pride ourselves in personal accomplishments and conduct ourselves in such a way that we might be looked upon with recognition and praise for the good works which others might see us perform?

Emptying ourselves of feelings of pride and self-importance and embracing the virtues of humility and meekness – so that we may live a life in imitation of the life our Savior lived for the sake of God’s Kingdom here on Earth – is what true discipleship is all about.

We read in today’s Gospel that the mother of James and John wanted something special for her sons, as any good mother would, but she definitely missed the point of self-sacrificing love. She, like her sons, like all the Apostles, failed to recognize what being a follower of Jesus truly meant, what it truly entailed. And our Lord responds to her request by saying, “You do not know what you are asking.”

And our Lord ends up calling them all together and reminds them that His Kingdom is not one of ruler and ruled, but one of servant and served, even if it means going so far as giving up one’s “…life as a ransom for many.”

The prophet Jeremiah knew this fact only too well. In return for his adherence to God’s disciplines and speaking God’s words, Jeremiah was attacked by his own brothers, beaten and put into stocks by a priest and false prophet, imprisoned by the king, threatened with death, and thrown into a cistern and left there to die. Yet, God was faithful to His servant and rescued Jeremiah from his enemies time and time again.

Unbeknownst to Jeremiah, as he lived some six hundred years before the birth of Christ, he was truly drinking from the chalice that our Lord was going to drink. And that chalice was to be a cup of suffering, so that God’s Divine will might be fulfilled.

Our Lord, in His explanation to His disciples, and in the life of the prophet Jeremiah himself, was explaining that true authority must be wedded to selfless-service and sacrifice. In other words, true responsibility entails a love which is selfless and self-sacrificing, a love which should always be lived for the good of others.

Jesus spoke rather clearly about what kind of sacrifice He had in mind. His disciples must drink His cup if they expected to reign with Him in His Kingdom. And the cup which our Lord had in mind was a bitter one involving crucifixion for Himself and martyrdom for most of His disciples.

What kind of cup does our Lord have in mind for each of us? For many disciples in the beginnings of the Church, and for a few even today, such a cup entails physical suffering and the painful struggle of martyrdom, even to the point of death for their faith.

But for most of us, our cup entails the long routine of daily Christian life, with all its sacrifices, disappointments, set-backs, struggles, and temptations – a form of martyrdom in which we lay down our lives daily for Christ as we journey through this life in both the modest and more significant sacrifices which are asked of each of us in our daily walks of faith.

In Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy, he writes, “This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.”

You and I share in God’s reign today by the life of humble service which we give to one another, in imitation of the selfless Love which our Lord gave for each of us.

We see this example in the lives of many good and holy priests, ministers and religious brothers and sisters; we see this example in the lives of faithful, devoted and selfless bishops and others within the Church hierarchy; and we see this example in the lives of untold numbers of laypersons who give of their free time to help the needs of those who are less fortunate – all for the sake of God’s children here in this life, all for the sake of the Body of Christ here on this side of Heaven.

With the help of God’s grace, may we become servants of His Love for the sake of the fulfillment of His Kingdom here on Earth. May we seek to serve, rather than being served.

And during this time of Lent, may God inflame our hearts with the selfless love needed to give generously and serve others joyfully –

– all for His greater honor and glory, and for the sake of our own eternal salvation. †

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “‘Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We can.’ [Jesus] replied, ‘My cup you will indeed drink…’” (Matthew 20:22c-23b)
  • “…whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” (Matthew 20:26b-27)
  • “…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)
  • “This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.” (2 Timothy 2:11-12a)
  • “No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11b)
  • “But now we are released from the law, dead to what held us captive, so that we may serve in the newness of the spirit…” (Romans 7:6abc)
  • “Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor…Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.” (Romans 12:10, 16)
  • “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
  • “Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)

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Prayer for the Day

“Almighty God, who are over us, You who are one of us, You who are also within us.

“May all see You in me also; may I prepare the way for You; may I thank You for all that shall fall to my lot; may I also not forget the needs of others…

“Give me a pure heart – that I may see You; a humble heart – that I may hear You; a heart of love – that I may serve You; a heart of faith – that I may abide in You.”

Dag Hammarskjold

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