In Matthew's Gospel today, we have the twelve disciples acting "badly." Jesus tells them, again, about the coming Passion (the betrayal, trial, torture, death and resurrection) and immediately two of them come forward with their mother asking to be treated in a more special fashion then the ten others who have been traveling along with Jesus. Those other ten get pretty pissed off at these two seeking better treatment, and Jesus, quite gently, upbraids all of them for their self-centeredness, ending with what many believe is a thesis statement for the Gospel of Matthew: the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Matthew is showing that even those who had been closest to Jesus could fall victim to the "me, me, me" syndrome - thinking and caring more about our own aggrandizement than the betterment of the world around us. The whole of Jesus' ministry is an example of being self-less, not self-ish. Reaching out and caring for, correcting, leading by example are ways in which Jesus chose to live his life and live out his ministry.
What one thing can we do today that will emulate this self-less aspect of being the Body of Christ in the world today? We can start small, helping us to make the "-less" our habitual response as opposed to the "-ish" when we think about "self" and how we operate in the world.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.