Friday, October 12, 2018
When the other ten disciples heard James and John and their request for positions of authority, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:41-45
The Christian Realm is a realm of humble servants, and if it were even possible, a “Christian nation” would then be a nation of humble servants. But these servants are not the serfs of some worldly aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy, or even the privileged of the society, but rather mutually supportive servants in the Realm of God. None is greater than the other; none is lesser than the other. They are servants each and all of them.
As a lad I loved to watch the television program, Robin Hood. You know … the one who took from the rich to return it to the poor. In that series, Good King William was away engaged in a distant war. Prince John, his proxy, was the evil counterpart who worked his villainy through the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. A vibrating string in that extended ballad was the hope that if King William returned home, he would make right the wrong of the king’s proxies. Looking back, I find these ancient ballads of the people, the humble people, served as morality play concerning the accepted doctrine of the divine right of kings. The King is only Divine when the King does what is right, good and just. And as to these proxies who oppressed and exploited the humble … they placed themselves in jeopardy in the fair justice of the truly Divine. Intriguing that Robin Hood with all his mischief was considered noble and heroic.
Governments, most industries, and even a good share of the Church is organized into a hierarchy of power and authority. In the world’s sense of order, this seem to be the way things ought to be administered. But Christ and His disciples and the disciples who followed those disciples … were a guild of humble servants.
Servanthood, Christian servanthood is much more need in our present circumstance than a hierarchy of power and a Divine right of the powerful.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz