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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Service and Discipleship

"Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mk 10:45

Service of others, even our enemies, is one of the great hallmarks of the Good News, and while some might not consider service of others good news, Jesus does, in the most emphatic of terms. Unless we learn how to serve others, even becoming like slaves in this regard, the message of the New Covenant will go unheard.

Gratefully, most of us have met and been moved by people whose entire lives are given in service to others. For years I had the great privilege of offering the Sunday Eucharist at a hospital in Boston that cared for people with serious mental and emotional problems. Being among the very ill was a blessing for me, but people who volunteered there Sunday after Sunday were an equal blessing. I never had to prepare anything but a homily. Everything else was done with love and dedication, and the service these women and men offered was only one of their ministries.

Anyone encountering this kind of dedication cannot help but be moved and lifted up. Whether it was distributing music books already opened to the proper page, or moving chairs so that those in wheelchairs might find a place among us, these loving men and women did everything they could to help create a sacred space for God's little ones to gather, worship and rejoice.

Today, thank God for the privilege of serving the poor.

When have you known the glory of God in serving others who could not repay you?

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