How often in life do we think about the big 'ME'. We get concerned about our career, our looks, our future, what's going on in our life. Our world has a greater focus now on what will make the individual happy, as opposed to making each other happy. When we get so focussed on ourselves, we become less happy, less connected with the joys God brings us through taking time to be with other people. There's a reason we were created as part of 'humanity' and not just as part of 'human'. The challenge then, is to ensure we are putting ourselves out there, each day, to care for those around us.
I was watching a daily Lent reflection video this morning (from Dynamic Catholic with Matthew Kelly), and something struck me from it. He said, that a good way for us to live each day, through our struggles and the focus of our fears and worries, to offer each thing we do, big thing, little thing, for someone we love. To send a little Prayer for each person we care for and offer ourselves, for them, in the things that we do. I've heard this before, but for some reason, it stuck with me today. To do this every day, we will become so much less focussed on ME and more on US as a community in faith. It is also a way to ensure we stay connected with God in our prayer life each and every day.
In today's Gospel we read:'And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day." Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"' (Matthew 20:17-28).
Jesus tells us that to be truly happy, to be good followers of faith, we need to serve those around us, not hold ourselves higher. God made each of us for great things, and so we should start by serving our neighbour before ourself.
Today's prayer comes from 'Prayer Power' a prayer for service:
Heavenly Father, Light of my heart,Guide me, show me the way to help those who You place before me.If you want me to help them, Lord, show me how. I need Your guidance. I want to live according to Your Will and become more like You.
You, Lord, are the greatest Healer the world has ever known. Please grant me the gift of healing in Your Name.
Lord, I am willing, my heart is surrendered to You, and I want to live as You wish me to live.
I also want to be a blessing to those around me, to be a helper to those in need, to be a healer for those in pain, through the power of Your Name.
Without You I am nothing, but with You I am able. Without You I am weak, but with You I have hope.
It is my hope, Heavenly Father, to be of service to You, to help those in need, to be a servant to humankind.
Guide me, protect me, and show me what you want me to do, and how to do it.
I trust You, Father, and believe You have called me for a purpose.
Show me what that purpose is, and let me live according to Your Will.
In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.