Certainly our criteria don’t coincide with those of Jesus. To whom of us today would it occur to think that the most important men and women are those who live at the service of the rest?
For us, the important one is the man of prestige, sure of himself, who has reach success in some aspect of life, who has reached the goal of excelling above the rest and being applauded by people. Those persons whose face we can constantly see on TV: political leaders, «Nobel Prize winners», fashionable singers, exceptional athletes… Who could be more important than they are?
According to Jesus’ criterion, simply those thousands and thousands of anonymous men and women, of unknown faces, to whom no one will make any homage, but who are devoted to the disinterested service of others. People who don’t live for their personal success. People who don’t think only in satisfying selfishly their own desires, but who concern themselves with the happiness of others.
According to Jesus, there is a greatness in the life of these people who don’t happen to be happy without the happiness of others. They go about moved by their goodness. Solidarity enlivens their work, their daily tasks, their relationships, their living together.
They don’t live only to work or to enjoy life. Their life isn’t reduced to fulfilling their professional obligations or diligently carrying out their jobs. Their life encloses something more. They live creatively. Each person they find in their path, each problem that arises near them is a call that invites them to act, serve, and help.
They could appear as «the last», but their life is truly great. We all know that a life of disinterested love and service is worth the effort, though we don’t dare to live it. Maybe we have to pray humbly like Teilhard de Chardin: «Lord, I will respond to your profound inspiration that orders me to exist, taking care to not suffocate or lose or squander my power to love and do good».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf