WSC Reflection for September 19, 2021

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year I)

Community Word: Faith opens our hearts to witness to God’s love and saving grace.
Theme: We witness to God’s love and saving grace when we serve others in humility.
Promise: “God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.” (Ps 54:6)

From the book, Pope Francis, Why He Leads the Way He Leads, Fr. Tomas Bradley gives his recollection of then Fr. Bergoglio. “Jorge was the rector and also the ‘laundry man’ of the house. Already at 5:30 in the morning, he would be placing clothes into those two industrial washing machines we had…there were more than a hundred of us living in that place.” The man who is now pope was humble enough to feed pigs and do the laundry when he ran a seminary. The author continues by asking, “If I had entrusted the care of seminarians to the guy, I would prefer that he use his professional expertise to form future leaders and priests, not waste time doing the laundry. That’s just it: he was forming leaders and priests.” In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus tells the twelve apostles: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all,” (Mk 9:35).
Today, as we face difficult times due to the global pandemic, we are given the opportunity to reflect on the more important things in life, most especially in our relationship with the people around us, with those we care about, and also with people we hardly know who are going through extreme difficulties. Before this crisis happened, we were busy with careers, businesses, travel plans, and other material pre-occupation. Today, we are made to refocus our attention to the basic essentials, most especially the protection of life as the Covid virus continues to become more infectious. We seem to be helpless as we turn more to our spirituality and prayer life. We appreciate even more how blessed we are to be in the renewal, in a community of believers who have a personal relationship with the Lord. We experience deep joy in serving the Lord through His people.
Every day, we hear stories of the plight of many of our brothers and sisters who are suffering, those who are afflicted with the virus, those people who succumbed to it and their families who bear the grief of losing love ones. The message is clear. As Christians and followers for Jesus Christ, it would not be enough to just send messages in the group chat. We need to translate our faith and our caring into deeds. People need the Lord and we can be the voice and the alter christus in our helpless brothers. The poor need food and we can put food on their tables.
Jesus taught his disciples that being great in the Kingdom of God is measured only by one thing – to be the servant of all. Greatness is not about being the first above everyone else. It is not about having power, about having much possessions, or being a celebrity. Greatness for Jesus is love translated into humble service. Service is using one’s skills, talents and treasures for the benefit and welfare of others. To be called great is to serve people, not enslaving them with self-serving rules and restrictions. It is giving without expecting anything in return.
The life of St. Teresa of Calcutta, in her lowly service to the poor, can inspire us to strive for Christian greatness. She said, “When we know how much God is in love with you, then you only live your life radiating that love.” Serving the Lord in humility assures us of this beautiful promise in Psalm 54, “God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life,” (Ps 54:6). Like this great but humble Saint, we can strive to forget ourselves and our own comfort as we reach out to the needy and serve their needs first. We will be called great in God’s kingdom when we model our greatness after the life of Jesus, rooted in love, nurtured in prayer and manifested through our unconditional service to God’s people.

Dear Lord, help us to know what true greatness is. Allow us to see You clearly as our Lord and King who is humble and self-sacrificing. Holy Spirit inspires us to be meek and humble so we can truly praise and glorify You in our life. Amen.
Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, pray for us.

Reflection Guide Questions:

  1. With Jesus as my model of humble service, in what way can I truly serve the needy during this time of the pandemic? Express this in concrete terms.
  2. How can I help my community reach out to the last, the least and the lost of our society?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    September 19, 2021 (Sun) – Wis 2:12, 17-20/Ps 54:3-4, 5, 6, 8/Jas 3:16-4:3/Mk 9:30-37
    September 20, 2021 (Mon) – Ezr 1:1-6/ Ps 126:1b-2ab, 2cd-3, 4-5, 6/ Lk 8:16-18
    September 21, 2021 (Tue) – Eph 4:1-7, 11-13/ps 19:2-3, 4-5/Mt 9:9-13
    September 22, 2021 (Wed) – Ezr 9:5-9/Tb 13:2, 3-4, 4, 7-8/Lk 9:1-6
    September 23, 2021 (Thurs) – Hg 1:1-8/Ps 149:1-2,3-4,5-6,9/Lk 9:7-9
    September 24, 2021 (Fri) – Hg 2:1-9/Ps 43:1, 2, 3, 4/Lk 9:18-22
    September 25, 2021 (Sat) – Zec 2:5-9, 14-15/Jer 31:10, 11-12, 13/Lk 9:43b-45

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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