Jesus, the King, became the servant of all, obediently taking on himself all the suffering of the human condition to save us from death.
Jesus told the Apostles about his coming passion and death, but they were unable to hear him. In a sad example of people not listening, of people too pre-occupied with their own self-interest, James and John responded to Jesus with questions of honour and privilege. They were concerned with securing their reward for their faithfulness, and this prevented them from ‘following’ his line of thought, the truth about himself.
This is a dramatic example of how self-absorption can block our awareness even as we congratulate ourselves on our great insight. It happens in all types of relationships, bringing frustration in the workplace and grief and alienation at home. Only with determination and practice are we able to put aside our concerns, to ‘give up’ focusing on our selves. Then we actually might be able to pay attention to others and do something for them. This turning our attention away from ourselves and being ready to put someone else’s needs before ours is NOT an attack on self-esteem. But as a rejection of pride, it is a kind of death, especially in a time of ‘me first’ thinking.
When are you most likely to be unable to ‘hear’ someone? What should you do? Sometimes those we love do not seem able to ‘hear’ us. What do you do to limit the damage this can cause?
My deep and sincere thanks to all of you for your prayers and your kind expressions of sympathy to me and my family on the death of our mother. It truly is a great comfort to be surrounded by and ‘lifted up’ by people of faith.
May the Lord keep our hearts and minds open to his presence in our lives.