Serving God is perhaps one of the most difficult but satisfying tasks among Christians. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, we are endowed by the Holy Spirit with various spiritual gifts and charisms which we must share to the Church and to glorify God. However, there are times when these gifts can become stumbling blocks toward genuine service and self-giving.
I feel sad when I encounter members and officers of mandated lay organizations in parishes who seem to forget the true essence of service. Instead of using their gifts and charism for the betterment of the Church, they use it for personal gain and advance their own agenda. Worse, when they use their position to oppress the poor and lord over their fellow parish servants and the regular mass goers. I remember my friends who refer to these people as “The Privileged”. They criticize them because when they speak, they usually teach the value of love and respect, yet their actions speak otherwise. Perhaps they think that their position, fame, and financial capabilities are the primary basis for respect. On the contrary, genuine respect is gained when people see the integrity of one’s work and the sincerity of one’s service. We do not need to be rich and famous to earn other people’s respect.
As a priest in process, I pray that I may become a humble servant like Jesus – one who is willing to humble himself, endure pain and suffering, and sacrifice one’s life to save the souls of others. In his Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul tells them that Jesus, “though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to” (Phil 2:6). This passage tells me that, like the Lord, I must aim to be humble enough to accept that serving God is not about ourselves but for His greater glory.
By: Sem. John Patrick C. Gamao
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.