Devotional

Fr. Rob Lupo - Pastor

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish

Baileyville, Calais, Eastport, Pembroke, Pleasant Point, Peter Dana Point

207-454-0680

Recently St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish said goodbye to Deacon George Stevens who had served the parish and all the surrounding area as a permanent Deacon since 1998.  Even more, George had served his people and community his entire life.  He was truly an inspiration for all who knew him.  George’s passing led me to reflect on how he lived his life.  He was a hard working man, a family man, a caring man, a faithful man.  He is an example of the best of what we can be when we put aside, as much as we can, our own desires and live for others, as Jesus teaches us.  

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus describes the final judgment and tells us that there is only one criterion by which we will be judged  – how did we treat our brothers and sisters in need?  Who can forget those wonderful and challenging words, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Christ calls us to serve our brothers and sisters and, in doing so, to serve Him.  He tells us in another part of Matthew that he came to serve, not to be served and we should always be doing our best to live that out as well.  In fact, Jesus puts it in even starker terms, “Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.”  That is a very clear call to all Christians to serve others without thought to ourselves first.

The messages that we receive from the ever present media, not just the news, but ads, both TV and print, as well as the myriad reality shows that we are offered don’t seem to concentrate on service to each other, but rather, get what you can when you can – look out for #1.  I see this dynamic played out in the many different political debates that our country seems to be mired in during recent years.  We can’t seem to find it in our power to disagree with one another and still be civil to each other.  I find that particularly disturbing among folks who proclaim themselves to be followers of Jesus Christ – and I include myself in this indictment.  I think we all need a refresher course in the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Jesus dealt with so many people who were rude to Him, who misrepresented Him, who degraded Him, and ultimately jailed and killed Him, yet he always found a way to treat them with respect, with dignity, even when he was telling them they were wrong in their beliefs and actions.  Our Lord calls us to that same understanding.  We need to remember that we are all God’s creations – that we are all connected in our common humanity and we must care for one another. 

We will always have Jesus as our premier example in this, but we need to look for other examples in the folks whom we live and work among each day.  I hope that each of you reading this can bring someone to mind that embodied that service to others that Jesus calls us to.  For me it is the man who inspired me to become a Catholic, and ultimately a priest, for many around here, I think it will be Deacon George Stevens, for others a beloved relative or mentor.  Whoever it may be, may we honor their memories, and follow our Savior’s instruction, by inspiring others to service by our own actions of love and caring to all our sisters and brothers.