Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

March 23, 2011

Kevin Ryan

Freshman, Biology Major

Jer 18:18-20
Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
Mt 20:17-28

“’Just so, 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

The Gospel today gives another example of how oblivious and seemingly absent-minded the disciples of Jesus were with many of the things he said.  After the mother of James and John asks Jesus to let her sons sit at his right and left hand, the other ten become displeased with them for asking such a thing of Jesus.  He sees this and begins to explain to them that whoever wants to be first among them will be last and whoever wishes to be great will be a slave.  However, he also says something that really ties it all together and shows what this reading means:  he says that he did not come to be served but to serve.

At first I looked at this reading and questioned if Jesus was telling us not to strive to be great and not to be ambitious.  It concerned me for a second because that is exactly what I am here at college to do.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Why would he gift us all with so many great talents and not want us to use them to their full potential?  But the last line holds the key.  Jesus, more than anything, wants us to use our talents to serve others.  With the previous statements, Jesus is giving us analogies of himself, the greatest servant of all, helping people in the most humble way possible by giving up his life for our salvation.

Oftentimes we can look at this reading and see how insensible the disciples were and wonder why they couldn’t pick up on what Jesus was saying any faster.  But the question is: do we really pick up on it?  Sure, we can comprehend the deeper meaning of what Jesus says, but do we really follow the calling to serve others like we are supposed to?  That is Jesus’s call for us today:  We need to use our talents and gifts to serve others.

Jesus wants us to always remember to serve others no matter what we do.  In this reading, Jesus is not prohibiting us from achieving success and accomplishing our goals, but he wants us to remember that we are here to serve others – not to bask in wealth and power.  The more we gain in life, the less we should be working for ourselves and the more we should focus on the needs of others.

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