The word “power” conjures up many different meanings.  There is physical power, such as we see when a football player tackles another player. Then there is natural power when for example we see the windmills harness the strength of wind for energy-use. There is emotional power when someone speaks with such strong heart-felt conviction that they move their listeners to action. But the power that everyone overlooks is spiritual power! Jesus in today’s Gospel tries to explain spiritual power to His disciples. He tells them that He will rise from the dead because of the powerful Love of God for Him and them. And they will be given spiritual power to affect His mission of salvation. But do you think the disciples were interested in spiritual power? They could care less! The Gospel says that instead of listening to Jesus they begin arguing among themselves which one of them was the greatest!!! In short, they were more into “ego” power than anything else! Ego power is that which puts the individual above everyone else. When we seek ego power which is not really power at all; it is weakness because there is an attitude of wanting to show we are better than others or even above others. We can see this happening in our world every day. For example, when parents show favoritism to a certain child, the other siblings become embittered. When a student wants the professor’s attention for the sake of showing off their knowledge, the other students become resentful. When a politician speaks like they are telling the full truth while throwing down the character of their opponent, they are causing division. If we clergy try to show that somehow, we are holier than thou, we fall into a spirit of clericalism which leads to division. I suppose that we all have these desires to be the greatest at times which comes from our original sin.  Remember Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy, so this human tendency has stayed with us an awful long time. Getting back to the Gospel, when Jesus saw the disciples wanting to be greater than the other, He said: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Then He took a little child and placed it in their midst and said: “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives Me!” In other words, God’s spiritual power comes to us when we are willing to serve the most vulnerable around us!  Are we striving to do this each day?        ~ Fr. John

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