It’s Okay to Be Human

Reflection for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Associate Director Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our October 11th newsletter

We are all called to holiness, right? For those of us who have been on this journey for a long time, it is tempting to become discouraged. We keep bumping into our weaknesses and failures. We keep confessing the same sins. We may take one step forward and two backward on this road to holiness.

For me, at least, this week’s Readings offer encouragement. In the Gospel, James and John, members of the Chosen Twelve and close friends of Jesus, exhibit ambition, arrogance, and lack of self-knowledge. They ask Jesus for seats in a high place of honor. They say, “Sure, we can drink the cup offered to us.” And, to be expected, the Ten are indignant. Instead of exclaiming “What’s the matter with you guys?!”, Jesus takes advantage of a teachable moment: the one who wants to be great, to be first, must be a servant. Why? Because he, “the Son of Man, did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, emphasizes that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,” but one who was human, like us, “yet without sin.”

I doubt if James, John, and the other apostles welcomed Jesus’ message that they were to be servants, but eleven of them stayed the course of “continuous conversion,” and became great servants as they witnessed to the good news of Jesus and drank the cup of suffering. The apostles were human. Jesus was human. I am human. “Human” and “humility” come from the same root word, “humus.” We need to embrace our humanness, our “earthiness” with humility and gratitude. The way to holiness is service, focusing on the needs of others, not on our own limitations and failures. It’s okay to be human.

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
FAN Associate Director

Published in: on October 12, 2021 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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