Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mk 10:35-45)

Alberto Marvelli was a heroic young Italian who risked everything to serve the poor. At a young age, he learned to serve the poor through his mother. When a poor person comes to their home during meal time, she would say: “Jesus has come and he is hungry.” He grew up at the Salesian Oratory in Rimini. He became the president of the Catholic Action of the Diocese. While enjoying sports especially cycling, he also has a spiritual program of life. He would do half an hour of meditation and attend mass daily.

He was a shining light during the darkness of World War II. He put his faith into action. During the devastating bombing raids of the Nazi he would risk his life helping the wounded and serving those in need. He also released, with the help of friends, Jews and captives being shipped off on the trains to Nazi concentration camps.

Unfortunately, he died at 28 years old accidentally struck by an army truck. But his generous life and heroic charity was a real inspiration to many.

In today’s gospel, James and John expressed their ambition to share Jesus’ power. The other ten got angry because they also wanted to rise and be great. But for Jesus, greatness means service. “Whoever would be great must serve.” He invited his disciples to a paradigm shift because “the Son of Man came to serve and not be served.”

In fact, at the Last Supper, one of the most unforgettable lessons Jesus taught them was to wash their feet as an example. He pointed out: “If I, your Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you must also wash each other’s feet. In other words, they have to put their faith in action. They are to serve generously and humbly.

Here is a criterion for our service; from the acronym S.E.R.V.E

S: Sincerity – service with sincerity. We are to serve honestly with the right motive and good intention; not out of pretense or deceit.

E: Enthusiasm – it is a privilege to serve. Thus, we serve passionately and excitedly; not with mediocrity and lukewarmness.

R: Responsibly – to serve responsibly means doing our task dutifully because we will be held accountable for its result and consequence.

V: Vision –to serve well, we need a clear vision and mindset. We need to have the paradigm of Jesus: The Son of Man has come to serve and not be served. It’s a mindset of servant leadership.

E: Example – serving becomes an example. It is how one walks the talk. A leader leads by example. It is how he puts his faith in action.

Service need not be big or grand. It begins with small acts of kindness with a smile. Even our prayer time can be a service to others. Imagine our small acts multiplied by millions of kind-hearted people. I’m sure it can brighten up and transform our world.

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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