Saturday in the 2nd week of Easter
Saint for the day: St. Anselm (1033-1109)
“If you wish to be great you must become the servant of all.”
These words of Jesus are repeated often throughout the Gospels so we need to take them to heart. I am reminded of the Liturgy of Holy Thursday when we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and the Ordained Priesthood. However … the Gospel for that liturgy doesn’t cite references to either of these two important ministries of the Church but, rather, the washing of the feet!
Jesus gives a new commandment: “You have seen what I – the Lord and Master – have done: you must be willing to become the servant of all if you wish to be my disciples.” (my own loose translation.)
In this Jesus is not calling us to “slavery” but to “Service.” And we need to see the difference.
When I entered the Dominicans as a lay brother in 1959, things in the Order – especially concerning “categories” - had not changed much in many years. Some of my friends thought that I was demeaning myself and taking on a role of “slave” to the better class of priests. Yet, in that era, this reading from the Acts had the same intent: that the ministry of the priests was important and that they should be free to preach and minister sacramentaly. We are all called to “service” and this is still the basis of our coming together as a Christian community no matter what our official roles are. If we look at the lives of any of our saints you are sure to see “service” shinning brightly in all that they did.
I like to give the example of what I call my “wastebasket theology: ” if you toss a wad of paper into the wastebasket (or dustbin, as they call it over here) and miss and don’t go over and pick it up … don’t ever expect to be called a saint!”
Think about it! Amen!
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