“If you don’t serve others, you have no reason to be alive!” – Pope Francis
“Whoever serves and gives, seems like a failure in the eyes of the world. In reality, it is exactly in giving their life that they find it” said Pope Francis during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for all the cardinals and bishops who died throughout the year. In his homily, His Holiness stressed that we ought to spend our lives imitating Jesus’ example of humble service and self-giving, rather than focusing on our own needs and desires.
Quoting St Matthew’s gospel, Pope Francis stated that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for others – and he did it out of love. Therefore a life that “takes possession of itself, losing itself in love, imitates Christ” in defeating death and giving life to the world. The Pope added “whoever serves, saves. On the contrary, those who don’t serve have no reason to be alive.”
Even if forgetting about ourselves and living for others can make us seem weak in the eyes of the world, Pope Francis stated that this is the purpose of our lives, and that in God’s eyes, it is what makes us truly victorious.
He pointed out that the love of Jesus is “truly a concrete love, so concrete that he took our death upon himself…This is the abasement that the Son of God underwent: bending down to us as a servant to assume everything that is ours, opening wide for us the doors of life”.
Francis observed that though we would have expected a triumphant divine victory, Jesus shows us a humble one instead. “Raised on the Cross, he allows death and evil to assail him while he continues to love” – a reality that we find hard to accept.
“It’s a mystery, but the secret of this mystery, of this extraordinary humility, lies in the power of love. In the Passover of Jesus, we see together death and the remedy for death, and this is possible because of the great love with which God has loved us, because of the humble love with which he lowered himself, because of the service which knows how to assume the condition of the servant.”
The Pope explained that in the end Jesus not only overcame death, but transformed it into something good.We too can share in Jesus’ victory if we choose to love like Him, with an attitude of service and humility.
Pope Francis concluded by urging everyone not to be too attached to worldly possessions, but to place their trust in Jesus and the salvation He offers: “May the Passover of the Lord be enough in our lives, enough to be free from the anxieties of the ephemeral, which pass and vanish into thin air; may he be sufficient for us in whom is found life, salvation, resurrection and joy …. Then we will be servants according to his heart: not employed officials, but beloved children who give their lives for the world.”