Little Philip was walking home in the rain with his mother following Sunday worship. It finally stopped raining as they rounded the corner, where to their surprise and delight appeared a vivid double rainbow in the sky. “Doesn’t it look like an artist painted this rainbow?” his mother exclaimed. “I bet God painted this just for you!”
“Yes,” replied Philip, “God did it, and He did it left handed.” Confused, his mother asked him, “What makes you say God did this with his left hand?”
“Well,” said Philip, “We learned in Sunday School that Jesus sits on God’s right hand.”
Today we see in competitions in every field. Everyone wants to be the greatest in the world. There were wars in the history of the world among countries and within countries. In any place of work, this question remains the same. Who is the greatest?
Today’s liturgy helps us to be a real Christian in our life. The renowned anthropologist, Rene Girard, wrote, “The most damaging idolatry is not the golden calf but enmity against the other.” Most of us like to believe that we are mature, big hearted and we do love our enemies and are free of enmity towards others.
St. James in the second reading tells where jealousy and selfish ambition exist there is
disorder. He also continues about how God’s wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle and full of mercy.
Through the Gospel, Jesus brings us two things or examples on how to be a good disciple.
1) Jesus was a good example by telling how his own future would be. Through suffering and death, He will bring glory. As we reflected last week, Jesus taught His disciples suffering is part of our lives.
2) Jesus showed them the example of servant leadership. He said that He is a teacher and God is only our father. He himself became the servant of all. We read in John 13 where he showed the example of a servant by washing the feet of the disciples.
By showing that example, He asks the followers to be like him.
If you want to be greatest, be ready to wash the feet of others.
It is a struggle for us to come down to earth to change our lives. We have our own way of living.
If you look at the Bible, there are lists of incidents based on the question, who is greatest?
1. Adam and Eve.
2. Abel and Cain
3. Tower of Babel
4. Essa and Jacob (getting the power from the father)
5. Joseph and his brothers
6. King Pharo and Israel
7. Saul and David
8. The Sons of David
9. Solomon became the servant of idolatry.
10. The Sons of Zebedee.
So let us try to answer the following questions very honestly from our heart. Do we really take up the heart of Jesus?
How do you want to be greatest?
What are the things that we argue in our life? Whether about small things? Or big things? Better or worse?
The Irish Jesuit, Michael Paul Gallagher, wrote, “You probably don’t hate anyone, but you can be paralyzed by daily negatives. Mini-prejudices and knee-jerk judgments can produce a mood of undeclared war. Across barbed wire fences, invisible bullets fly. Loving the other as oneself, he submits, is for most of us an impossible uphill climb.”
Take up the discipleship model that Jesus showed us. Marilynne Robinson submits that, even in our failure to live up what Jesus asks of us, if we are struggling honestly, there is some virtue.
Let us love and be humble to follow Jesus the way He showed us as He is the way and life.