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1 Peter 1:18-25;
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15,19-20;
Mark 10: 32-45
In this gospel, while meeting with his apostles, Jesus foretold his passion and
death, and James and John were eager for places of honor when Jesus entered
into his ˈglory.ˉ Jesus reminds all of the apostles, "You know that those who are
recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones
make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you
will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serveˎ.ˉ
As I was reflecting on this gospel and, I confess, thinking about servant leader-
ship and the abuse of power about which Jesus spoke, I discovered that May 30
is the feast of St. Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake 581 years ago today
when she was 19 years old. A tribunal, led by an ambitious and misguided
bishop, had found her guilty of insubordination and heresy. Historical accounts
claim that the bishop hoped Joan˅s enemies would help him to become an
archbishop. Twenty-five years after her death, an official church investigation
found her to be innocent, and the Pope declared her to be a martyr. In1920, she
was canonized a saint of the Church.
Rather than dwell on those who abuse power, I thought, in gratitude, for the many
good men and women ˀ ordained, religious, and lay -- who have served the
Church and God˅s creation since the time of the apostles.
Madeleine L˅Engle, in one of her books on spirituality, said, ˈIf I have faith, it is
because I have met faith. I have seen it in action.ˉ To that I would add, ˈIf I have
learned to serve, it is because I have been served. I have seen service in action.ˉ
I believe it is the theologian Megan McKenna who warns us that if we hear the
gospel and are not made to feel uncomfortable, we need to hear it again. This