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Wreck Your Heart with God’s Love

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 126:1BC-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R. (5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
“What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

NAB

DEV_JU25

Every Friday the eight piles stare me down.

Laundry piles, that is. Ah, life in a household of six very busy kids.

Never mind the kitchen sink filled with last night’s dinner plates, the minivan littered with all sorts of stuff, beds unmade, homework unfinished, hair to be brushed or snacks to be replenished. Then, there are volunteer obligations, friends in need of dinner, and that charity in need of my time and talent.

My days are full of opportunities to serve and I’m betting yours are, too.

If we’re being really honest, for many years I served others for the validation, the confirmation that I was a good mom, a good Christian, a good wife, a good person. It wasn’t until our fifth child was born premature that the roles were flipped.

I became the beneficiary of servant leadership and it wrecked me. There is nothing more humbling than asking, and gratefully receiving, the gift of people’s hearts when your own is so very broken. People gave, abundantly and with such great love, that my definition of a servant’s heart was turned upside down.

There’s something about suffering and receiving God’s grace that puts into laser-focus just how much you have to learn. Just how far He wants you to go to love. Our son’s suffering was almost unbearable, but as I look back six years later, I finally get it.

God wanted me to know just how important it is—as in, my salvation depends on it—to serve others with His heart, not mine. To serve with charity, not accolades. To dig deep to grow closer to Him, not further away.

The servant’s heart isn’t our doing, it’s His. Be the gift God wants you to be to someone today. It may wreck you, but it will transform you. That, I promise.

Before you give of yourself to someone who needs help today, stop and say a prayer for your pure heart to serve them the way God intends.

photo credit

Kathryn Whitaker and her husband, Scott, have 6 awesome kids, teen to toddler. She is a former public relations consultant turned freelance graphic designer, party planner, organizer, and preemie advocate who hails from the Lone Star state. You can find out more about her here.

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