"Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice." - Mt 23: 3
"The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." - Mt 23: 12
Today's Gospel has me asking myself about the role models in my life. While its easy to point to those who have cared for me and love me and others deeply, I find myself wondering if I truly am working to follow their example in all areas of my life. Do I give the benefit of the doubt and see everyone around me with the eyes of God as many in my life do? Do I let God lay my path before me as others do? Or do I follow the example of those who are "successful" at work, those who hold positions of moral authority, those who have the picture perfect life? While all of those things are not bad, today's Gospel reminds me that they are not sufficient. It reminds me of the importance of taking a deeper look no matter the "appearance" of someone. Who is living a life of honest, humble service? Who is living as a servant?
I wonder though, exactly what does it mean to be a servant? Does it mean that we do what we are told, that we work for another? Perhaps being a servant is to truly be with others and assist them in the many forms of struggle, to show another love. Perhaps a part of being a servant is being able to receive the service of others and that in allowing ourselves to be seen and vulnerable, we allow others to serve us. Perhaps this humility is the greatest example that we can follow. Perhaps by letting go of our brokenness and shame we become the best servants we can be - we become exalted.
Who do you recognize as servants in your life? Who do you serve? How is God inviting you to serve and be served?
Reflected by Joan Ervin