September 27, 2021
Each day, I reflect upon a word or a phrase inspired by the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.
“For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-50)
LEAST AMONG YOU: This is not the only time Jesus tells us to put others first. On the surface, it seems like a pretty simple directive. However, it can prove to be quite difficult to implement.
I know exactly what it means to put others first, but “me” keeps getting in my way.
I write and deliver homilies in order to respond to my call to evangelize and spread the Gospel message. I do it for others. But I also like it when people tell me it has made a difference. I like to be affirmed. That’s about me.
I have tried to be the very best parent I can be. I want the best for my kids and would do anything for them. I do it for them. But I like it when I am acknowledged by my kids or by someone looking on that I am a good parent. That’s about me.
When I cut my elderly neighbor’s grass, I am providing her with a much needed service. She needs me and I am there for her. But it makes me feel good. I like feeling like I am a good person. That’s about me.
As I said, Jesus’ directive is difficult to implement, and can be confusing. Am I doing this for others, or am I really doing it for me?
I think it is easiest to reconcile this question by asking another question: Is what I am doing being done with a servant’s heart? If my actions come from a place of love, and my intent is to serve others, I am following Jesus’ directive.
If I receive a side benefit of public affirmation or feeling good about myself, it is Jesus’ way of encouraging me to continue doing His work.