By Tricia Frey
In the Gospel this Sunday we hear the disciples “break out in argument” about who is the greatest. Man, they so miss the point. It always astounds me how dense they are! Twelve men, chosen by Lord of the Universe, immersed in the teachings and love of the Master Lover, Himself… and they get it wrong constantly. Since I never get it wrong I can pass sure and easy judgement.
While those guys sat around arguing about who would be first they forgot that I was coming down the line just about 1,981 years later. Oldest child, honor roll, born before all of this “everyone is a winner” garbage, my blood type is A+, even the class song when I graduated high school was “World’s Greatest,” and I’m a woman, so you know I’m always right. How could you possibly need more proof? Nelly move over, I’m number one.
All joking aside, I typically struggle with both thinking I’m always right and thinking that I’m complete rubbish, worthy of nothing. The Apostles fighting over who is paramount always strikes me as so arrogant I immediate think “I just cannot relate to that!!” And yet if I am honest with myself I know that in staff meetings, while driving, loading the dish washer or doing laundry (don’t lie, you know you have a system that says “my way is best” too), when I smoke someone on the leg press at the gym, I have to come to the realization that I am no better.
In fact, the Twelve, while they did live with the Messiah, the Saving Lord, the Servant King, my Liberator and yours they did not have the benefit of 2,000 years’ worth of study, commentary, tradition, and witness by Saints to the full picture of the revelation of God and the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. I am so blessed to have access to all of this. I can consume the Living Person, Jesus Christ and receive Him into myself every day. God reveals Himself to me continuously in ways that the Fishers of Men did not have the opportunity to see or know.
Our world is obsessed with not only who is number one, but how to outdo that person so that everyone will know without doubt that “I” am the true victor, and I know I get swept right up in the competition. Some years I find it difficult to pay attention to the Readings at Palm Sunday Mass – I could probably quote them to you, we hear them over and over again. But I, like the Twelve, still miss the point. Being the champion of the world is the most fleeting. Emulating our Bridegroom, washing the feet of those around me, humbling myself and taking on the drudge for those I love is what this life is all about.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tricia is the Director for Teen Faith Formation at St. Mary of the Falls Parish, working in ministry for middle schoolers, high school teens, and young adults. Her top three loves are Jesus, family, and Cleveland, closely followed by sleeping, popcorn, a perfectly chilled glass of white wine, and a great comedy show.