The phrase which caught my attention in today’s Mass readings was: “offer his life” – we find it in the first reading – if the servant offers his life all will be well for him.

In the Gospel Jesus speaks about “offering his life as a ransom” and invites his disciples to follow his example.  This attitude of self offering implies a forgetfulness of self and a radical confidence in the One to Whom we surrender – the One who supplies all our needs and who makes up for our limitations and deficiencies.

Perhaps we can better identify with James and John who approached Jesus to ask for secure and prodigious seats in the kingdom.  But Jesus points out that true greatness lies in serving each other in love – emptying ourselves to become slaves.  Surely this is very contrary to our modern mentality! perhaps frightening also? but the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that we have a high priest, Jesus, who understands our weakness and assures us of mercy and grace when we are in need of help.

 Today on Mission Sunday, as we reflect on our calling and responsibility as Christians to spread the Good News of Jesus, these readings both challenge and encourage us. We do not need to go to far away places in order to be missionary.  We are missionary to the extent that we live our lives in and through Jesus who shares with us his very relationship with the Father in the Spirit. When we freely surrender to the One who has loved us so much that He lay down His life for us and allow Him to use us as He wishes we can be confident that He will act in and through us – often without our knowing it – to bring about His kingdom in our world.