Jesus admonishes the Apostles for their desire for worldly greatness. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can obediently follow those Christ has ordained to lead His Holy Catholic Church and by cultivating the Virtue of Charity so he can strive to be a servant to others in the imitation of Jesus and His ordained servants.

Liturgy

See: Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle C – Lk 22:14-23:56

Commentary

Despite Jesus’ clear past admonishments to the Apostles to not seek for worldly greatness (taking the lowest seat – Lk 14:10; being least is to be great – Lk 9:46-48; to serve others and not be served – Mt 20:20-28), and the clear knowledge that Jesus is about to be betrayed unto death (Mt 16:21-28, 17:22-23, 20:17-19), a squabble breaks out amongst the Apostles during the Last Supper about which of them is the greatest. 

After Judas leaves to betray Jesus (Jn 13:27-30), the eleven remaining Apostles  strangely debate which of them are the greatest. Jesus, with heroic patience, does not harshly rebuke them, but gently admonishes them by returning again to His call for those who follow Him to be humble servants. Jesus negatively compares the Apostles’ current argument about greatness to the unholy pagan Gentile kings who “lord” their authority over people under the guise of being helpers of the people; Jesus confirms this makes sense in the world, for a king who sits at table is greater than his servant. 

But Jesus then refutes the worldly perception of greatness by confronting the Apostles with the reality that Jesus, who the Apostles acknowledge as God (Mt 16:13-20), has lived His ministry as one who serves. Perhaps to help them accept the necessity of being a servant leader, Jesus reveals that astounding blessing that they, who have faithfully served Him in His trials, will experience the greatness of being part of His Kingdom and sit on thrones like kings in judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by Jesus as He patiently teaches the wayward Apostles at the Last Supper: Divine King, Jesus confirms the reality of His Kingdom and His Authority over the Apostles by “assigning” them to His kingdom; Divine Prophet, Jesus teaches with supernatural insights which overturn worldly assumptions about greatness and offer a future view of the Apostles’ position and power in Heaven; Perfection of Patience (a part of Fortitude), despite the Apostles’ repeated worldly arguments about their greatness, terribly inappropriate as Jesus prepares for death, Jesus gently and patiently admonishes and then encourages the Apostles.

Be obedient to those Christ has ordained to lead

Realize: Across the history of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church, and even today, there have been periods of conflict and schism as Satan seeks to divide the Church into warring camps and influences some confused men to disobediently and incorrectly claim that some popes are illegitimate or to promote heretical views which divide the Church.

Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s Chosen Leaders of the Church (CCC 551, 765) and the grave sin against faith of Schism (CCC 2089).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Obedience, help me build the Virtue of Obedience  (a part of Justice) so I can refuse to follow those who call for schism or heresy and instead always submit to those men You have chosen to be the leaders of Your Holy Catholic Church.

Faithfully seek to imitate Christ and His Servants

Realize: Jesus called His Apostles and today’s priests to be humble and courageous servants of their people; just as Jesus calls His holy priests to imitate His example of being a servant, every Catholic man must strive to become a servant to others.

Believe: Reflect upon Jesus’ call to the Ordained to Serve (CCC 894, 1570).

Pray: Holy Spirit, help me build the Virtue of Charity so that I always humbly seek to see myself as a servant who seeks to imitate Your the self-giving love and the humble servants you have called to the priesthood.