Faithful to serve as Jesus did
This is the second day of our Novena. We have much to learn about what it means to encounter the other and about what it means to be faithful. In great bursts of exuberance, we think that this is easy. We seek to be good and to do good but…
Let us look at the encounter that Matthew describes in the gospel. A good mother, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, brings them to Jesus just as he is about to go up to Jerusalem. She wants the best for her sons and she is willing to go to the head of the line to ask Jesus directly to ensure them a place of choice by his side. The greatness she wants and imagines does not exist. “Anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant,” said Jesus, “just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26.28)
This encounter demand that we be small, hidden. No trumpets or parades for us! No huge banquets. No speeches, no applause. Saint Joseph himself lived his life in the background. His only task was to love Jesus and Mary, and to love them in such a way that it was all encompassing. It was not for his glory. It was because he loved them.
Look at Saint Brother André. He was known, but he acted only for the good of others, teaching others that they must pray fervently, tirelessly and with faith. He was not one to put himself first. And besides, Brother André was with the poor, the sick, those on the margin, those left aside. As Jesus said, when we go to encounter the other, we do not go alone. We go with Jesus. We accompany Him and we bring Him to those who need Him.