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True greatness

By Fr.Dan Debano
Rainy River Ministerial

“Rather whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”
Many people desire to do great things in life. This is not being arrogant or conceited. Rather, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, aspiring to greatness is a sign of virtue. What is important is that we understand what Jesus means by greatness.
Notice in the Gospel of Matthew (20:17-27), Jesus does not condemn the desire of the mother in seeking great things for her sons, James and John. He is the one who actually draws out her desire by asking what it is that she wants.
In purifying this desire for great things, however, Jesus does two things. The first is that Jesus challenges James and John by asking if they are willing to drink from the same cup as He. In effect, Jesus asks them if they are willing to pay the price for the great position of authority that they aspire to in the kingdom. The second thing He does is identify for His apostles the authentic nature of authority in serving the needs of our fellow man.
Jesus teaches us everyday to focus our hearts on the true nature of what it means to be great. Greatness is not to be found in the attaining of power. Rather, great is the one who exercises authority in the service of God and neighbor.