Gospel Luke 19:1-10
“The greatest among you must be your servant.”
Jesus’ teaching often flips our way of seeing the world on its head. On first reading it can even seem to be utter nonsense. But when we press into his words, and look beyond them to the clarifying nature of his deeds also, we are brought to a deeper awareness of the truth which he presents us with.
In his new dispensation the old wisdom that reigned is inverted. The first according to human reckoning is made last, and those who are last are now made first. The one who serves is the greatest.
This is exemplified in the person of Jesus himself who, born of the most modest of circumstances, and who pours his life out in humble service to all – and yet, who is the Lord of all creation.
For us, this bears significant meaning. We, who often seek to assert our own importance, who seek to be recognised and served, or applauded for the good works which we might do are reminded, not only by Jesus’ words and deeds, but also by his very person – by his coming as a man – that one’s greatness is manifest in humility and service.
If this all sounds a little to abstract, perhaps the example of a modern day saint, like St Mother Teresa of Calcutta can bring it down to earth.
This tiny woman, of very little significance in so very many ways transformed the lives of so many around her, and around the world. Not by worldly success or dominance, but by loving, humble service to the poorest of the poor – those who could not even thank her for her efforts. In this she, servant of all became one of the greatest amongst us.
Words of Wisdom
“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
― Mother Teresa