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Lenten reflection: It is not about us, it is about the other

March 3, 2021: Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Today's Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/030321.cfm

The greatest must serve the rest.

There is no getting around it – Jesus wants the disciples to serve through good works, not through being the center of attention. There can be no “me” generation with Jesus. It is not about us, it is about the other. It is not about succeeding or being in high places, it is about care, justice, and compassion for the other. 

In the last year we have witnessed extreme hostilities against other people. Much of this is totally unreasonable, judgmental, unjust and just plain cruel. We don’t have to list examples, we’ve seen it all. And it happens in our country, our neighborhood and even in families. It happens all over the world and lots of times, we don’t pay enough attention.

On the opposite side, there are wonderful examples of humble service. People in churches right around us quietly stock food pantries, cook and serve in food kitchens, find housing for immigrants, work against human trafficking and ecological issues, care for the elderly, pray with persons in hospitals who can have family visits or who are dying. Here at Caldwell, there are days of service, spring break mission trips, care for those who are from other countries, situations and needs – Cougars taking care of each other! It is amazing what is going on and we need to see and hear it.

There is a memorial at Mass for a remarkable woman. Mother Katherine Drexal was a young woman from Philadelphia. She grew up in wealthy family but gave it up to serve African Americans and providing critical education through schools and missions all across the south. Today she is proclaimed a saint by the Church.

To be a holy and faithful disciple of Jesus, two things are necessary: that it will not be easy and we need to make hard choices to believe in and follow the call of Jesus faithfully; and that quiet service is the measurement. As Jesus reminds us in this Gospel, “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” That is our call.

Action: What will you do to make this Gospel come alive?

  • Do not put yourself first today but show courtesy and care for others.  Hold a door, let another person in a line, take time to listen to another.
  • What is a service action that you will get involved in?

Sr. Donna L. Ciangio, OP, D.Min., is chancellor of the Archdiocese of Newark. 

This article originally appeared on the Caldwell University Campus Ministry blog, Preaching the Truth in Darkness, and was reprinted here with permission.