It's not lonely at the top, we have the Lord by our side

Lent 2020 – Day 13

Readings: Jer 18, 18-20; Ps 30, 5-6, 14, 15-16; Jn 6, 63; Mt 20, 17-28

'It’s lonely at the top' is perhaps what Jeremiah felt at first when spurned by his people. Our parents and our God feel the same when we recklessly reject their plans and even rebel if things don’t turn out to our liking. Although we're free to propose, we must let God dispose: this technique is not only a stress-buster but also a herald of great blessings.

When Calvary was just round the corner, Jesus kept spoke to his disciples about wielding responsibility with care and concern for the people. “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant… even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve,” said He.

Don’t leaders get involved in petty squabbles and at times people envy their power? Whether leaders or followers, let’s realise that all have a cross to bear; life shouldn’t be only about self but also about helping the other.

God-given tasks do entail responsibility but when we trust in the Lord, saying “Your words, Lord, are spirit and life,” we find ourselves smiling and never feel lonely at the top.

We have to serve God and neighbour

Day 12

Readings: Is 1, 10, 16-20; Ps 48, 8-9, 16-17, 21.23; Mt 23, 1-12

Isaiah recommends that we make a clean breast of our wrongdoings and pray for God’s pardon. Further on the proactive side, we need to take in the Word of God in all humility and practise even simple acts of kindness.

Jesus has a special word for leaders of all times, of the kind that don’t practise what they preach.... They are like the Pharisees and Scribes of yore, self-serving and even exploitative; in their vanity hanker after titles and draw the people to themselves rather than joyfully showing them the way to the heavenly Father.

That’s the context in which Jesus said that God alone is our Master, Teacher or Father…. Yet again, Jesus uses hyperbolic language to drive home a point: that the leaders should be service-oriented, for “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus humbled himself taking the form of a servant and we are called to do likewise: serve God by serving our neighbour.