WEDNESDAY: Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Humble Servants of Christ
Placed on pedestals, lavished with flattery, and surrounded by vain admirers make it easy for clergy members to bite the bait of clericalism, become little lords and forget their vocation to become suffering servants of God like Christ Jesus. It takes a lot of humility, meekness and courage to stay away from this rut. The lure of the materialistic world and individualistic culture in which we live today offer us as many lucrative opportunities to fall into that rut – especially when we look forward to obsequious greetings and to occupy the front seats in the public arenas.
Whenever we fall into that pothole, we no longer act as shock absorbers to the caravan of vulnerable sheep placed it our charge. We behave like reckless drivers. We simultaneously injure the flock and depreciate their value as the currency of salvation. Why? Because we become so engrossed in polishing our ego, enrobing ourselves and seeking attention. The heart of Christ is irked by the thoughtlessness and recklessness of the shepherds he placed over his flock. He grieves for his shepherds and for his sheep.
The grief of Christ Jesus speaks boldly against this type of spiritual disorder. The lamentations of Christ over the scribes and Pharisees give one the feeling that the Passion of Christ started long before his betrayal by Judas. Until now, his betrayal has not ceased –especially with the high level of clericalism, secularism, the random acts of inconsideration, and paltry discourse, which have once again invaded the Church in the world today. The lamentation of Christ continues. The grief of Christ is growing deeper by the minute. Pope Francis keeps looking like a scarecrow in the wind, reminding us of the pitfalls ahead. No one seems to be listening. The sheep, in droves, are scattering tough the hills and valleys while shepherds are lolling in indifference and self-importance.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that the Church as mother and teacher of God’s flock must never lose sight of its maternal nature and fraternal character (2Tim.3:16-17). Concerned parents are like slaves. Their work never ends – even when their children are fully-grown and matured, dutifully many parents are still willing to journey with their children until the end. The Church must be willing to do the same. Christ is counting on us. We must willfully let go of our self-importance that we can become true representatives of Christ on earth for others.
O God, receive my humble plea. Make me a humble servant like your Son Jesus Christ.