Sunday, October 17th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
The Gospel for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time conveys how we are called to imitate Jesus through humility and service. C.S. Lewis was known to have said, “Humility is not about thinking less about oneself but thing about oneself less.” Service is more about placing the needs of others over and above our own needs. As modern day disciples of Jesus Christ, we look to his life and ministry as a model of the life of the Christian.
The Gospel reminds us that the Son of God became man and surrendered His life into the hands of evil men so that we might be saved. The life of Jesus was centered around His Father’s mission and his service to mankind. And this is how we ought to live — in imitation of Christ.
James and John wanted to ensure they had a spot in heaven with Jesus. They were concerned about themselves in that moment — “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus quickly reminded them, “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”
Our secular culture constantly encourages us to do what we can to get ahead in this world, our personal needs and ambitions come first, to do what feels good no matter the consequences — power, authority, celebrity, and wealth should be our life’s goal.
Our Christian faith offers us something different and fulfilling — a life of humility and service. As Christians, in imitation of Jesus Christ, we are called to live our lives in service of God and neighbor. Our life is not about us. It is about fulfilling God’s glorious purpose for each one of us. We have a purpose driven life, even if we do not know it.
So, we must ask ourselves, are we living out God’s plan for our lives? Is my life centered on Jesus Christ and those around me or is it centered on me and my own personal ambitions and plans?
It can be difficult to know God’s purpose and plan for our life. So many young people live day to day, without any realization of their vocation or direction in life. God sees the whole picture — we only see the here and now. All we can do is intentionally seek Him each day. If our days is centered on Him, then our entire lives will become the work of Jesus and we will be his humble servant.