Be like Christ and serve others humbly
by Father John Murray, CssR
Christs most powerful sermon was not on a Mount in Galilee but in the upper room in
Jerusalem. Jesus preached His greatest sermon, not with words but
with His hands and feet when He washed the feet of His
disciples, because values are always taught best in actions.
In the upper room, the disciples argued about who was the greatest among them. None of them wanted to be least in the
Kingdom, so Jesus took a towel and a bowl of water and redefined greatness.
Christs forceful lesson about humble service was also
His last lesson to His Apostles. When Jesus bent to wash their feet,
He was preaching a visual homily that they could never forget.
Try to imagine what it was like for Jesus to wash the feet of the ones who would
abandon Him, Peter who would deny
Him and Judas who would betray Him. Anyone other than
God would have used the opportunity to scold them about their weakness, but Christ
had a more important lesson.
God calls us to serve the people who yell at us and demean us
and belittle us. Helping people who are miserable or ungrateful
is hard. Unless we are rooted in Christ, we will lose motivation and become
We serve others in a Christ-like way because of our faith in
Jesus, not because of their gratitude. Gods grace
makes it possible. Jesus called us to the same selfless service.
Service is not just something that we do for others but something that we do for ourselves. In service, we deny
ourselves and move beyond ourselves. Christ-like service rooted in Gospel faith
empties us so that we can put on Christ more completely.
Generous service without any response frees us from self-centeredness and
allows us to focus on others instead of ourselves. Such humility is closely tied to
Thankless acts of kindness purifies us and frees us from the need to be thanked.
Dont worry about their lack of appreciation. Unappreciated service becomes a chance to purify our motives,
bringing with it great freedom.
Humble service does not distinguish between menial chores and great accomplishments. We often serve in
insignificant ways. We welcome every chance to help others, not because of what it does for them, but because it makes us more like
Help the needy to free yourself from
self-righteousness and self-importance. It is the easiest way to root out any
pride you may have.
Appreciate the privilege and honor of serving others. When you help people
who need your help, without judging whether or not they brought on their own problems, you are not only
serving Christ, but you are also performing one of the most Christ-like works
of charity, surely close to the Heart of Christ
Himself. Learn Christs 'Last Lesson', that humble service is its own
reward. If you want to be Christ-like, do what He
did at the Last Supper and find ways to serve others humbly.
Meditations on the Triduum
by Father John Corapi