September 24, 2012

Faces of the City: Servant of All

There's is a beautiful elderly couple that goes to a parish near my house. The husband is at a very advanced stage of Parkinsons--his trembling never ceases. The wife is always at his side, holding his hand, guiding him along, firm, steady, and filled with love. Jules pointed them out to me, first, long ago, and wrote about them back in the TMS days. They are a truly marvelous picture of the sacrifice and beauty of love. Seeing them always stirs my heart, not with pity, but with joy, for their incredible grace, for their witness to Christian love. I can't imagine anything harder than what their days must be like, but if that's what it takes to truly love, I hope I have the courage to do likewise.

Sunday's Gospel reading was taken from Mark, Chapter 9:
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
The priest, an African-American man with a rich deep voice, gave a lovely homily expounding upon what it means to act in service to one another, to be a servant. To be great, he said, is not to think of yourself and your own desires less: to be great is to not think of yourself at all.

And then at Communion, the priest saw this same elderly couple approach the altar, and he motion to them to stop, and rushed up the aisle to meet them both, gave them communion, and directed the crowd to stand aside so they could return to their pews without walking all around the church.  He then returned to the altar and distributed communion to the rest of the congregation.

To be the servant of all.


  1. Anonymous10:15 PM

    This gave me chills. Absolutely beautiful, and thought provoking. Loved it.

  2. I know exactly who you are talking about!