Gospel: (Mark 10:35-45) Jesus said to the disciples, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, 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.”
Reflection: Jesus responded to his disciples by saying that leadership isn’t about power—“lording it over them” or making their authority felt. Leadership is about servanthood, even when it entails suffering and giving one’s life. The only way to glory is by self-emptying, serving, giving one’s life. Much of our doing for others is simply part of our everyday life, for example, parents taking care of children, spouses doing thoughtful things for each other, a co-worker cooperating with others in the office. Being a “slave” of all, as Jesus says, isn’t always something extra or big; most of the time it is simply doing our everyday tasks and keeping in mind that others are the body of Christ. It is doing our everyday tasks with loving care. (Living Liturgy, p. 228)
Vincentian Meditation: People are not looking for leaders who can solve all their problems or answer all their questions. Often they know the answers already or they know their problem has no immediate solution. More than anything else people look to us who minister to them for our presence of loving, caring and forgiving others. They want our help in their efforts to handle pain and frustration. They look to us for understanding; they seek a sensitive and consoling response to their hurt feelings; they need the spiritual comfort we can bring through our ministry. They want someone who will pray with them, whose presence will remind them that no matter what their difficulties might be, God really loves and cares for them. They want assurance that God will never abandon them. This is the leadership that we are called to live. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 310, quoting Cardinal Bernadin)
How do we in our “servanthood” manifest the presence of a loving, caring and forgiving people? Or how do we not?