Dear Friends in Christ at Holy Spirit and St. Helen’s,

Dear Friends in Christ at Holy Spirit and St. Helen’s,

There are some very hardheaded people, and Jesus’ disciples seemed to be among them. Despite the many announcements he had made about the Passion, and despite all his teachings, the disciples continued to misunderstand him. The greed of the first disciples and the ire of the others against them show how difficult it is to be part of a community. The disciples of Jesus, who want to follow him, are tempted by selfishness, vanity, hunger for power, greed, jealousy, and envy.

There is no room for chains of command or positions of honor in the reign of God. What Jesus asks for, simply, is service.

In civil society or in the state, the government controls and exercises power. There everyone wants to be the head or someone important. They seek honor, power, money. The idea of service is foreign to them. The word service often has a negative connotation, because it is associated with not-so-prestigious jobs. But the Christian community is a community without power; a community of service, as Jesus wished it to be. And it is only through service that this community is saved. In sum, Jesus’ followers cannot be greedy, but servants. This is the most characteristic trait of the reign of God.

Fr. Frank