In a letter, a woman complained bitterly to an advice columnist that a homeless person hadn’t thanked her for the pocket change she’d given him. The columnist explained to her that we don’t always get recognized for the good we do. Today’s gospel reminds us that we shouldn’t expect to.
Yet that’s exactly what James and John did. They assumed that because they followed Jesus, they deserved special positions of honor and prestige. Jesus had to teach them that to follow him is to be a servant, and servants don’t go looking for recognition or reward. True service is selfless. It’s concerned with others’ needs, not our own.
This is something we often need to be reminded of, especially in our relationships. So often, we’ll try to love others…if they’re loving to us. Or we’ll try to love them… because we want them to love us in return. Or we’ll try to love them… because we want to feel good about ourselves.
But how often do we love others just for love’s sake? Probably not as often as we should. Maybe not as often as we think. Yet that is what Jesus does for us; this is what Jesus calls us to do. The world needs the love we have to share. And this love doesn’t seek rewards. Because true love is reward enough in itself.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/030211.shtml