The great among you shall be your servant

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

 
Keep your family, O Lord,
schooled always in good works,
and so comfort them with your protection here
as to lead them graciously to gifts on high.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant. 
Jesus is telling us about his Passion, Death and Resurrection - for us.
Too often we are fighting over which of us is the greatest.
To take this journey with him, is to take a journey
that draws us to be with him in it and like him:
a servant of love for others.

"The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."

 

Intercessions: 

Let us give thanks to God, our Father: 
through the power of the Spirit he purifies our heart and strengthens us in love. Let us humbly ask him:
Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

Help us to receive good things from your bounty with a deep sense of gratitude;
-and to accept with patience the evil that comes to us.

Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
-but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.

May we abstain from what we do not really need,
-and help our brothers and sisters in distress.

May we bear the wounds of your Son,
-for through his body he gave us life.

 

Closing Prayer: 

God of Love, 

through this Lenten journey,
purify my desires to serve you.
Free me from any temptations to judge others,
to place myself above others.
Please let me surrender even my impatience with others,
that with your love and your grace,
I might be less and less absorbed with myself,
and more and more full of the desire
to follow you, in laying down my life
according to your example.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

There are at least two very fruitful prayer settings for us to consider today. 

First, Jeremiah’s plight is to be caught up in betrayal by his adversaries.  He doesn’t understand why they would seek to harm him when he had been outspoken in pleading their case before the Lord.  Jesus moves into the final chapter of His earthly life in the story from Matthew, and reminds the disciples that betrayal, death and, mystifyingly a resurrection, will be happening soon to Him and by extension to the disciples.  But even in this extreme moment, the human power of self-interest, in the form of jealousy, arises.  

I suspect most of us have felt some betrayal in our lives, a time when a friend or acquaintance or someone upon whom we relied let us down or even tried to undercut us.  It isn’t a pleasant feeling.  And it especially hurts when those who are betraying us are among the group, or are the actual persons, we have been trying to help.  And so I invite us to pray over those feelings of loss of confidence in, and resentment toward the betrayer.  How did I feel when I realized this person I trusted had abused that trust and schemed to harm me?  How did I act when I encountered this person?  When I look back am I pleased with how I acted?  What do I wish I had done differently?  Did I try to understand why this person had betrayed me?  Was I able to “turn the other cheek” by looking beyond the betrayal and seeing the spirit of God in this person who had so harmed me?

Second, Jesus confronts the reality of jealousy among His followers.  Who will be first among equals, they want to know.  And if not me, why the other guy?  Jesus responds not by condemning jealousy, but by teaching them again about what is required to follow Him.  He does not tell them what they have done wrong, but instead reminds them of what they must do.  He continues to emphasize that we must see ourselves in the shoes, the body, the very existence of the other.  And so I invite us to pray over the times we have felt jealous.  What about those situations made us want to be like another person?  Was it the social prestige, or the privileges, or the recognition that would accompany being in their shoes that we sought?  Were we focusing on what it would be like for us personally to be exalted over our peers and to be moved into a higher rung on the ladder?  When we reflect back on the times we have been jealous of someone in a better social status, have we ever sought to be in the shoes of the other, the homeless, the alcoholic, the abused woman, the migrant, the displaced, or the refugee – the very people Jesus sought out and the ones who most needed His love?  Would it be better for us to be jealous of the freedom that many of the other feel from possessions and status and desires instead of feeling inadequate because we do not have a status or a possession that seems attractive to us?  Would being jealous of THEM instead of one of our peers help us be closer to the Lord?

The psalm is a great coda – it reminds us that our freedom from jealousies and betrayals lies in the Lord – that the power, the prophecy, and the path that comes from Jesus will lead us to a place of peace and serenity.

And so my prayer today is to turn my frustrations with betrayals to greater charity to the betrayer, and my feelings of jealousy into desire for more solidarity with those who experience the freedom to realize more fully the love of God.

by Tom Purcell
Creighton University's Accounting Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

and

Visual Bible Alive

Powered byEMF Form Builder