“Greatness and success in God’s eyes are measured in service,” says Pope at Angelus

The Pontiff stressed that “if we want to follow Jesus, we must take the path that he himself marked out, the path of service”.

Newsroom (21/09/2021 17:00, Gaudium Press) Service’ was the central theme chosen by Pope Francis for his comments during the Angelus prayer this Sunday, 19 September. Commenting on a passage from the day’s Gospel, in which St. Mark recounts the argument between the disciples about who was the greatest, the Pontiff stressed that “if we want to follow Jesus, we must walk the path that he himself traced, the path of service”.

“If anyone wants to be first, let him be the last of all and the one who serves all,” Our Lord Jesus Christ said on the occasion. Quoting this phrase, the Holy Father explained that it also serves for us and because it was uttered by the Master it marked a reversal in the criteria of what really matters.

Do you want to stand out? Serve. This is the way

“A person’s value no longer depends on the role they play, the success they have, the work they do, the money in the bank,” he assured. “Greatness and success, in God’s eyes, have a standard, a different measure: they are measured in service. Not in what you have, but in what you give. Do you want to excel? Serve. This is the way.”

Although the word ‘service’ seems a little lacklustre in our day, in the Gospel it has a precise and concrete meaning. To serve is to follow the example of Jesus who said that he came not to be served but to serve. “Our faithfulness to the Lord depends on our willingness to serve.

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Service to the poor and to those who cannot give back

Pope Francis said he knows that it usually costs to serve, but “the more we serve, the more we feel God’s presence, especially when we serve those who have nothing to give back, the poor, embracing their difficulties and needs, with tender compassion: and there we discover ourselves to be, in turn, loved and embraced by God.”

The Pope concluded his reflection by stating that we must serve first and foremost “those who need to receive and have no way of repaying. Welcoming those who are on the margins, abandoned, we welcome Jesus, because He is there. And in a little one, in a poor one whom we serve, we too receive the tender embrace of God”. (EPC)


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