September 20, 2015 — Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wis 2: 12, 17-20; Ps 54: 3-6, 8: Jas 3:16- 4:3; Mk 9: 30-37
Jesus makes things clear to us in terms of how we are to treat those around us and how we are to try to live as Christians in the world. “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” The idea of being a servant may be disagreeable to many of us, if not downright unacceptable. We live in a world — and the world has been like this for some time — where being humble and looking to serve others first is not easy.
In ancient China, the wealth and prestige of a person was measured by how many servants he had. Jesus’ point to us is that He measures people not by how many serve them, but how many people they serve. One of the hallmarks of stewardship is service. The Four Pillars of Stewardship have been described as follows: prayer, hospitality, formation, and service. It is this fourth one, service, about which Jesus is speaking in today’s Gospel.
Recent research has found that one of the most quoted people of recent time is Blessed Mother Teresa. She often spoke of love and service. This is one of her better-known sayings: “Love cannot remain by itself — it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”