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Game on: a life of service


We are called to serve. And we are called to humility.

This was underlined in Sunday’s gospel reading, from Mark 10:35-45. Zebedee’s sons, James and John, two of Jesus’ 12 apostles, seek places of honor with Jesus. Our Lord tells them that the places of honor are not his to give.

However, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized,” Jesus tells them.

And he goes on to tell all 12 men that their mission isn’t to seek honor, but to serve: “é whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all é .”

Odd, how when I’m supposed to really hear a message or take Christ’s teachings to heart, it finds me in many ways and appears in multiple guises.

There I was, casually perusing Facebook, when an article shared caught my attention. Originally, it was the photo that caught my eye; I love rugby, and my favorite team is the New Zealand All Blacks.

But what kept me riveted was the theme. John O’Sullivan at shared that the single quality all great teammates share is service. “Do you want to stand out from the crowd?

Start by serving everyone in that crowd,” he said.

Athletes who ask what they can give, he said, “bring ’I can give/I can do’ attitudes and actions to the table for their teams.” Giving actually gets them everything simply by starting with service.

When we give our best effort, a positive attitude, doing the dirty work so others can get the glory, leading by example, modeling core values we get winning results.

Jesus knew that. He commanded his apostles, as He commands us:

¢Love one another, as I have loved you. (John 13:34)

¢As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace é (1 Peter 4:10)

¢Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others é (Phil. 2:3)

¢Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (Prov. 11:25)

In serving, we grow, we offer ourselves to the greater good. By being Christ to others, we reveal more of Him in ourselves. We become His eyes, His hands, His love, His compassion. We become the Body of Christ.

O’Sullivan’s article quotes famed New York Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly.

“When I gave up me, I became more,” Mattingly said. “I became a captain, a leader, a better person, and I came to understand that life is a team game. I’ve found most people aren’t team players. They don’t realize that life is the only game in town. Someone should tell them.”

What are we bringing to the game?

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