Today ambition, to be the best, the greatest, the number one, consists in getting ahead at any cost and measuring our greatness by our position, our income and our possessions. We easily forget that the value of material things is in the thing, not the possessor. Your job, your house, your jewelry, your car being better than mine doesn’t make you better than me. Your job, your house, your jewelry, your car is just better than mine.
Jesus tells us how to achieve true and lasting greatness, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Jesus knelt and washed the feet of his disciples giving us an example of service. “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (John 13:15) “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.” (Matt. 20:28).
True greatness is measured not by our accomplishments and our possessions but by our service to others. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.… Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:35-36 and 40)
“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others (Philippians 2:3-4)
What do we choose selfishness or service?
- Fr. Steohen Haslach, C.P.