Becoming the Servant of All
By Erica Tice, USMC Campus Minister
Today’s Gospel features the second prediction of Christ’s passion and death and Christ uses it as a teaching moment when His disciples neglect to fully comprehend the lesson He is trying to teach. He tells his disciples that if they wish to be first in the kingdom, they must be not only the last of all but also the servant of all. Although it is not yet clear to the disciples, sacrifice, service, and sanctity are necessary for following Christ who, being the master teacher, will lead by example and make the lesson clear when He accepts His passion and death. Practical 21st century application of this lesson means that our life of service springs from our own devotion to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist which is so deeply tied to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Lumen Gentium describes the Eucharist as being “the source and summit of the Christian life,” (no. 11). Sacrifice is, therefore, at the heart of our Christian life in the presence of the Eucharist. Our active participation in the Mass and our attentiveness in Adoration can fill us to the brim with the love of God present in the Eucharist, thereby allowing us to become conduits of God’s grace and agents of humble service. We are sanctified through the sacraments and through the self-gift of our lives to others. In today’s Gospel, however, the disciples cannot yet see the connection between sacrifice, service, and sanctity. They do not yet have the grace that flows from the Eucharist; they cannot yet make their lives about humble service because their teacher has not yet instituted the Eucharist and ratified it by His passion and death. This is not the case for us: we can let the sacraments fill us with God’s love so that we might become the least of all and the servant of all in imitation of Christ, our teacher and our Lord.
Wisdom 2.12, 17-20
James 3.16 – 4.3