Gifted to serve

The WORD in Other Words by Fr Bernie Abrazado SVD (Philippines)

Wednesday Week 2 Lent 
Jeremiah 18,18-20
Matthew 20,17-21

We cheer for Manny Pacqiao‘s numerous boxing wins. We claim victory for every Ms. Universe Pageant, especially the one dominated by Pia Wurztbach. We admire how Mark Zuckerberg created an empire with Facebook after dropping out of Harvard. Sports enthusiasts imitate the moves of Michael Jordan, Le Bron James and  Kobe Bryant who are legends of basketball. These are people we look up to, who for  us became ambitious enough to achieve greatness in their own right. 

Like them we  have talents, and like them we can be great. But have we reflected on how we are using our gifts? Do we live to serve or just to prosper?  Did Jesus tell us not to strive to be great and not to be too ambitious‘?   

At first, this is the question that comes to mind after reading the Gospel passage today. In reality, this does not make any sense. Why would he give us talents and abilities only to be underused? But as I read the latter part of the passage, I was able to get what Jesus wants us to do. Jesus, as a servant—leader, wants us to use our personal talents, abilities and resources to serve others. Helping others in the most humble way possible would be the greatest way of utilizing our gifts. This is what he exactly did —giving up his very life for our own salvation.

In our pursuit for glory, fame and fortune, we tend to forget the value of helping others in whatever way we can. Look around us. Many people need our help — the poor   and marginalized the sick and elderly, the victims of various crimes, the homeless, and  the uneducated. Do we care for them? Do we help them ease their sufferings ?   That is Jesus‘s call for us today: We need to use our talents and gifts to serve   others.

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