Jeremiah 18:18-20
Matthew 20: 17-28


These readings today fall into the category of blindness and selfishness. It is a sad reality as Jeremiah has seen the tables turned on him. People are now plotting against him they are going to try and use his own words against him. These are the tunes of power and blindness. Not understanding the message of the prophet – a call to right relationship with God. Naturally, Jeremiah has to see and hear this and cry out to his God for help and assistance.

The gospel has a similar message regarding the disciples not understanding the mission of Jesus and are continually blind to what he is telling them. They cannot hear or see what going to Jerusalem means. I don’t think we are any different. We mean well, but often, we take the road well travelled and seek the way of power and control.

What is evident in this passage is the understanding to move away from the temptations of power and control and be focused on Jesus. What he is saying to us is very different to the lessons of leadership in our religious and social lives. So often, we are caught up with externals eg places of honour, prestige, and recognition. Jesus’ leadership is all about service, a service that Michael Fallon MSC calls self-sacrificing service.

As we enter this day, let us allow ourselves a moment to sit with this notion of leading and then reflect on ways we can move from self to other with genuine compassion for ourselves, which we need and especially compassion for others. As our founder put it much better:

“When you go into the garden of prayer, do not collect the leaves of good feelings; rather, gather the fruit of imitating the virtues of Jesus.”  (St Paul of the Cross)

Paul Traynor is married to Clare and has two children Sam and Lucy. He lives in Greytown which is in the Wairarapa Region on the North Island of New Zealand. Paul is currently working as the National Passionist Family Groups Coordinator for Aotearoa, New Zealand.