Greatness comes from serving others, says Pope

Jesus’s example shows us that greatness comes from serving others, Pope Francis says.

Speaking to the crowd in St Peter’s Square after the Angelus on Sunday, Francis explained what he meant.

Jesus opposes “worldly logic with his own: Instead of exalting yourself over others, get off your pedestal to serve them; instead of rising above others, be immersed in others’ lives,” Francis said.

He went on to remind the crowd there are many people in need of help, especially after the pandemic.

“Seek to be immersed in service rather than to climb up for one’s own glory.”

Francis went on to note that Sunday’s Gospel reading shows Jesus teaching his disciples about how to attain true glory.

“True glory is not obtained by rising over others, but by experiencing the same baptism that he, Jesus, would receive just a little later in Jerusalem, that is, the cross,” Francis said.

Baptism means immersion, Francis explained. Jesus, through his passion, “immersed himself into death, offering his life to save us.

“Therefore, his glory, the glory of God, is love that becomes service, not power that seeks to dominate,” he said.

Ambition is a human trait, Francis noted. People are always tempted to use everything, including relationships, “to feed our ambition, to climb the ladder of success, to reach important positions.

“The quest for personal prestige can become a spiritual illness, masquerading itself even behind good intentions.”

Francis advised the crowd to always question their real intentions and ask themselves, “Why am I carrying out this work, this responsibility? To offer service or rather to be recognized, praised and to receive compliments?”

“Jesus asks us to immerse ourselves” compassionately in other people’s lives.

Francis suggested his audience consider those who don’t have enough to eat, before starting a meal.

“And immerse ourselves compassionately, to have compassion” for the real people behind the statistics, he said.

God “did not remain up above in heaven to look down on us from up there, but he lowered himself to wash our feet,” Francis reminded them.

“God is love and love is humble, it does not exalt itself, but comes down like the rain that falls to the earth and brings life.”

Serving others as Christ requires dedication, Francis added.

It also required the strength of baptism, “of that immersion in Jesus that all of us have already received through grace that directs us, moving us to follow him instead of seeking our interests, but to put ourselves at the service of others.”




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