I often think about our society and our culture, and I am left with a feeling that we are missing the mark.
Yes - there are wonderful and exceptional people in this world, and many even in our small community.
Don't mistake my message as a message of despair and gloom, it is not. I am not blind to the goodness that is in our midst, and all the beauty in this world, but I am also not blind to the reality of what is happening around me as well.
Today's Gospel message speaks of the disciples arguing amongst themselves in regard to which one of them was the greatest, and Jesus responded by stating "For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest."
I have to say that true humility is rarely seen today. What we see is actually the mere opposite, everyone is striving to be the greatest and the best.
I also see an abundance of people who for whatever reason feel inferior and go to great efforts to tear people down through gossip, through deceit, through unholy actions, all in order to make themselves feel less inferior.
The concept of doing a job well, or striving to become accomplished is not a bad virtue, but when done only for self-serving purposes is not worthy of praise. For who is to gain from such effort?
I have felt the effects of being the recipient of vicious and calculated attacks through what felt like an endless barrage of hate-filled gossip, lies, and evil-inspired manipulation.
But, I have also witnessed the bountiful fruit, grace, and inspiring love from the humble service of faith-filled people. When one is serving with a child-like heart, or even through love and compassion, their service takes on something much greater than themselves. It somehow connects with a power that is strengthened with a force than magnifies the act. I don't mean a force of brute strength, but rather the opposite, a more subtle and enticing force. It is a force that attracts, not repels; it is a force that inspires, doesn't infuriate; it is a force that comforts.
This race to be the greatest is destroying our society. Everyone wants to be the best of everything and will do almost anything to claim such. It negates the reality that we are all made in the likeness of God and that each of us have been given different but unique gifts. These gifts are to used not for self-serving ventures, but for the greater glory of God. These gifts when shared with true humility connect with the Holy Spirit and accomplish things greater that we could produce on our own. Yet - this is rarely seen.
So many of us have been brainwashed and programed to think that we are entitled to be the best, the best of everything and of everyone. Think about it, what a lie! How can everyone be the best? It is impossible.
The reality is that each of us possess something remarkable, unique to just ourselves, that was instilled and created within us by God himself for a purpose.
The purpose is not to say that "I am the best," but rather to be used as a reflection of God's omnipotence.
WOW - what a different world we would be living in if the race to be the greatest would cease to exist. I don't think I will see it happen within my lifetime, but I can try to surround myself with people who reflect such virtue as to be a humble servant, and disconnect and shield myself, as best possible, from those who choose to be an active participant in that unholy race, that race that actually leads to not only sin and evil, but actually right into Hell!