OUR THEME FOR 2018
HUMILITY IN GREATNESS – 2
May 22, 2018
Today’s gospel: Mark 9:30-37
The apostles “had been discussing among themselves
on the way who was the greatest.” (v.34b). Now our theme
this year is “Destined for Greatness.” We have
been discussing and will continue to discuss about our call
to greatness and the great work we are supposed to do. This
is to understand God’s call, so that we can strive to
be and do what God wants for us. It is not so that we will
fall into sinful pride.
How do we keep from falling into sinful pride?
First, it is to know the meaning of authentic servant leadership.
It is basically this: the leader is the servant. “If
anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and
the servant of all.” (v.35b). In the Kingdom, the greatest
is the least, the first is the last, the high is the lowly.
Servant leaders are not to be served but to serve, and give
their lives as a ransom for the many. Such lowliness precludes
Second, it is to take on the posture of a little child. “Taking
a child he placed it in their midst” (v.36a). A child
has nothing to boast of. He is totally dependent on grown-ups,
he has no lofty status in the community, he has no great track
record of accomplishments. Servant leaders of course are capable,
though dependent upon God, have high positions in the body,
though use such for service, and can achieve great things,
though give the glory only to God.
Third, it is to be at the service of the poor and lowly.
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name,
receives me” (v.37a). It is to serve the last, the least
and the lost. Given the status of children then, they represented
the anawim, the poor in spirit. Servant leaders are not in
the environment of high society, or the company of the rich
and famous, or in the corridors of power. They do not strut
around like the Pharisees. They hold on to nothing that can
foment sinful pride.
Fourth, it is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, in humble
obedience to God. “Whoever receives me, receives not
me but the One who sent me.” (v.37b). Jesus humbled
himself, accepting death on the cross. He is the King of kings,
he is our Lord and Master, he is the Savior. But he came as
a babe in the manger, had nowhere to lay his head, suffered
ignominy at the hands of men, and descended into a dark tomb.
No sinful pride there, as should be the case with us.
Continue discussing our theme for this year. But as the Lord
asks you, “What were you arguing about on the way?”
(v.33b), make sure you keep on the right track, seeking only
to deepen your understanding of the true meaning of greatness
* * *
THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2018
BEARING GREAT FRUIT – 3
gospel: John 15:9-17
are destined for greatness because God chose us and sends
us forth to do His work. Jesus says, “It was not you
who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go
and bear fruit that will remain” (v.16a). To be chosen
by God is such a great privilege, but also a great responsibility.
God has made Himself dependent upon His people to do His divine
are to “bear fruit that will remain.” What ultimately
remains is eternity. This brings us to the four last things,
which in Christian eschatology, are death, judgment, heaven
and hell. We will all die and everything will pass away. When
we die, we are subject to judgment by God. In this there are
only two outcomes: we either go to hell or to heaven (with
Purgatory as transit). We will remain in that state forever.
the most important thing is salvation. This is why the Father
sent His very own Son to suffer and die for us, so that we
might have the opportunity to make it to heaven. Thus the
most important work of the body of Christ, the Church, is
to help bring people to salvation. This is the work of evangelization
and mission. Thus we are commissioned to go and proclaim the
good news to all and to make disciples of the nations. This
is fruit that remains.
greater work could there be? What greater task could the Church
all of this is about God’s love. For God loved the world
so that He sent His only Son so that with belief in Jesus
we might attain to eternal life. We in turn are to manifest
that same love. Thus Jesus commands us to love one another
(v.12,17), and showed the way through his self-sacrificial
work of evangelization is all about love. It is our love for
God who loves us, who does not want anyone to be lost. It
is our love for others, as the greatest gift they can receive
is that of salvation. It is our love for the world, for peace
and justice can reign only if the hearts of people are converted
and the world turns to Jesus. It is our love for our families,
as our children and grandchildren can only ultimately be protected
and cared for if the world around them is less antagonistic
to faith, family and life.
chose us. God appointed us. God sends us. God expects us to
bear fruit that will remain. We are destined for greatness.