The disciples had trouble understanding Jesus. They were so immersed in their own thoughts and ideas that, at times, they didn’t comprehend what Jesus was actually saying.
Jesus had just told them that he was on his way to Jerusalem where he would suffer, die and then rise again. They never got the message. They were seeking places of honor in a worldly kingdom. They even brag; yes they can suffer anything that Jesus would suffer.
The other disciples become angry. After all they too wanted special places for themselves.
Are we so different from the disciples? We too can be deaf to his message and be concerned more with glory, with first place, with being served, with recognition and prestige rather than the cross.
Jesus did not abandon those he had chosen even when they didn’t comprehend his message, nor does he ever give up on us.
Jesus presents us with this paradox, “… 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.”
Do we strive to imitate Jesus who washed the feet of his disciples or are we more concerned with getting than giving. Do we complain and constantly criticize or do we hear the call of Jesus to be healers, helpers, and hope-givers.
What would we reply if Jesus were to ask us, “What do you wish me to do for you?”
Would we ask to be number one or to be like Jesus who came to serve?
“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
- Fr. Stephen Haslach, C.P.