Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (20: 17-28) where Jesus said to the other ten, ‘whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, just as the Son of Man came to serve not to be served’.

Fr Paul says, the Gospel today gives us the third of Jesus’ great prophecies of the Passion – his death and resurrection. As we hear it is immediately followed by the request of the mother of Zebedee’s sons for a high position in the Kingdom. The reality is that she has not listened to the words of Jesus.Fr Paul says, if we remember in yesterday’s Gospel Jesus’ teaching about service and humility. In the Gospel of Mark, which Matthew knew and used, it is worse, for in Mark’s Gospel this request is made by the sons of Zebedee themselves after hearing what is to happen to Jesus.

Fr Paul says, just like elsewhere the Gospel, Jesus outlaws titles of honour like ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Father’, so now today’s passage underlines the only dignity in the Christian Church has, is service.

The glory of ministry in the Church, whether it be archbishop, Eucharistic minister, catechist, altar-server or church-cleaner, is to be alert to the needs of others and help them come closer to our heavenly Father.

For today’s reflection, Fr Paul asks us to consider this question – ‘during Lent, how can I serve others around me?’