The greatest Catholics and Christians are those who come to serve:
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, “What do you wish (me) to do for you?”
They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” …When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Mark 10:35-45, NAB
In my daily life, I have the joy of working with some fantastic Catholic organizations (but my day job is not related to Waking Up Catholic in any way); however, as great as these organizations have become, it is important that we stay humble in all that we do.
Within the Catholic world, we have our own celebrities. Great Catholic organizations, writers, radio hosts, and speakers that help to shape the Catholic media that we consume on a daily basis. The challenge for them, then, is to ensure that their celebrity status does not get in the way of their ministry.
James and John thought a lot of themselves. Asking Christ for a special seat in Heaven was an extraordinary request. Only someone who thought a lot of themselves could do such a thing, and it upset the other disciples. My message for the great Catholic celebrities would be this: to be a truly great Catholic, remember that you are a servant – your fame matters very little.
By no means am I saying that all of the popular Catholic organizations, writers, and speakers are heading down a treacherous path, but I have unfortunately run into a handful of organizations and individuals that think quite highly of themselves. It’s truly a shame. There have been times that it has been difficult, especially in my Waking Up Catholic pursuits (really just a hobby), to connect with these organizations and individuals. Because of their status among Catholics, they have forgotten where they came from. Lord, let me never forget.
I’m sorry for the harsh truth of today’s message, but I felt it in my heart to share. There are a lot of great Catholic organizations and people that are just getting started in their ministry but struggling to get their message out. My hope is that everyone involved in Catholic media, from a single individual with a blog to the largest Catholic ministries, learn to work together to bring Christ’s message to the world.
We need to stop working in silos, each focused on our own world and goals. Instead of competing for product sales and website hits, we should be doing everything we can to share the love. With a more unified message, we could accomplish a great deal more. As Western society erodes and tries to silence the Catholic faithful, we are failing to stop it because of our own self interests. Like James and John, are we looking for a special place in Heaven without concern for our fellow brothers and sisters?
I’m not sure where Waking Up Catholic will take me (possibly never beyond the keyboard in my home), but I hope to always stay grounded in my mission – to serve Christ and the Church by helping others in their beginning stages of faith. If you ever notice me doing otherwise, tell me! I want to always stay humble in my pursuits, wherever I may go. I hope that you will do the same. May the Lord help us to unite our voices, let go of our own pride and self interests, and always remember that we are His servants, first and foremost.