By Mary Ellen Barrett



“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve
and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
~Matthew 20:28


A few years ago, I was on the sidelines of the soccer game watching my daughter play when one of the moms started to make her case to the coach why her daughter should be playing forward and be in for the whole game. I watched, feeling a little sorry for this woman who was so convinced of her daughter’s prowess, but she could not persuade the coach to make the switch—her daughter was best playing her assigned position. 

I thought about that mom when reading today’s Gospel. The mother of James and John, sons of Zebedee, knelt before Jesus and asked him for places of prominence for her sons when he came into Jerusalem. She was misunderstanding everything that Our Lord had been saying about what was to happen to him in Jerusalem; perhaps she instead envisioned a coronation kind of moment and not a crucifixion. 

The Rest of the World

We are not meant to be like the rest of the world, seeking glory, power, or wealth for its own sake. We are meant to seek greatness through humility and service. We must put the needs of others before ourselves. Jesus did not ask us to do anything He was unwilling to do. The cup He drank was filled with darkness, pain, and humiliation.

There is nothing wrong with wanting the best for your child. Like that soccer mom, I felt a little bit sorry for Mrs. Zebedee as she knelt before Jesus and asked for the best places for her sons. How often have I been guilty of seeking the best, most prominent, praiseworthy thing when I am really called to humbly serve instead? 



 Dear Jesus, inflame me with the desire to serve my family, my church, and my fellow man humbly and lovingly.

Call to Action

In the coming days find a way to prioritize service. This may require sacrifice or some degree of suffering but use that to unite with Christ in His suffering on the cross.


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