“I slept and dreamed that life is only pleasure.
I awoke and saw that life is only service.
I served and saw that service is pleasure.”
Rabindranath Tagore (an Indian Poet)
Instead of relying on earthly wisdom, we must look up to the “wisdom that comes from above” (Jas 3:17) which alone can show the way to equality in economics, decency in politics, prosperity in society and peace among all men, a deep peace of heart.
Christ Himself spelt out this way when he told his disciples who were arguing among themselves, who is the most important?”, that “If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and servant of all” (Mk 9:35). This means that the way to the peace of Christ is first humility. Humility is not bowing my head so low that I can see nothing but my feet. Rather it is acknowledging one’s human limitation and depending upon divine providence. However, the person who often looks up to God rarely looks down on any neighbour and hence a humble person will naturally respect and care for fellow human beings. A humble person sees their own brother and sister in the eyes of any man or woman offering loving service to all, especially to the weak and to the poor.
Summing up how the divine wisdom works for peace and joy, Jesus took up a child and said, “whoever welcomes a child for my sake welcomes me” (Mk 9:37). By saying that, Jesus underlined our need for humble dependence on God as the child depends on its parents and called us to serve others especially those who are small and week like little children.
The teaching of Christ in this Sunday’s gospel is: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” In other words, it is humility or humble service.
Father Paul Avarez