What Is True Greatness?

John 13:12-20 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition  

12 When he had washed their feet, taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet.   

For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.   

I am not speaking of you all; I know whom I have chosen; it is that the scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 

  I tell you this now, before it takes place, that you may believe that I am he when it does take place. But, honestly, truly, I say to you, he who receives anyone I send receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.”  

How can you actively cultivate a spirit of humility in your daily life?  

What fears do you need to overcome to serve as Jesus did? 

Are You Blessed?  

The Thursday before Good Friday, Jesus spent His final evening of freedom with his disciples. Jesus said you are blessed if you understand and do what He taught.  

So what did Jesus teach? Jesus shows his teaching through His actions by taking the role of an enslaved person and washing the disciple’s feet. His action is louder than words. The disciples were humbled by this act, and Peter initially refused it. 

Jesus lowered himself in this humble act of service and made a powerful impression upon His disciples. 

Our cultural view of greatness differs from Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. In our world today, to be great is to elevate oneself. Striving for recognition or approval by praising and boasting about one’s self to others seems to be an accepted way to be ‘someone’ in the eyes of others. People are impressed with this rhetoric and deem the person ‘great’. 

But this worldly, superficial greatness is a far cry from True Greatness. 

Often worldly greatness can be driven by fear of not being accepted or a fear of others’ opinions of you, and maybe a desire to be honoured and adored by all.  

True Greatness  

Jesus made it clear that true greatness happens when we serve the good of others from the depth and sincerity of our hearts. We must put others before ourselves and humble our will to the Father. In serving others, we are showing them the love and kindness of God with deep respect.  

Humility can be difficult for us to understand. This is why Jesus demonstrated to us what being humble should look like. Jesus realised that His disciples, as well as all of us, do struggle to understand what true humility really is.  

By washing the disciple’s feet, Jesus showed the natural way to Godly greatness that will last and find rewards for all eternity. 

Jesus invites us to live by His example, Jesus invites us to humble ourselves before his mighty hand, and he will lift us up on that great day- James 4.10 

Humility and Blessing 

According to our story today, living a humble life will bring us great blessings. You will not be blessed in the eyes of the world, but you indeed will be blessed in the eyes of God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

When we overcome our fears by purifying ourselves of the desire for honour and prestige, God’s desires become ours, and in serving and blessing others, we serve God. Seek to eliminate every selfish desire you struggle with. I have found that this is a daily struggle, but we are victors nonetheless. Understand the gift of humility and live it; only then will you be truly blessed. 


Reflect today upon this humble act of the Son of God lowering himself before those he led and taught the mysteries of the kingdom. He enslaved himself to serve. He denied himself for the blessing of others. Try to imagine yourself doing this for others.  

In this coming week, How can you bless others?  

Let’s Pray

My humble lord, you set a simple yet profound example for us. Please help me to understand this beautiful virtue and to live it each day. Free me from selfishness and fear so I may love freely, and you love us all. 

Jesus, I trust in you- Amen. 

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Remember to live life on purpose, in Hope. Faith and Love 

Paula Rose Parish💕 

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