It is 21st February 2017. We celebrate the memorial of St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor. The readings are from Sir.2:1-11; and the Gospel from Mark 9:30-37. The first reading teaches us that testing by the Lord is inevitable for the one want to serve God. We need to cling to God no matter who is against us and whatever the situation we are in. When we are humiliated by the others and segregated by the people who live with, we need to be patient. After all, a material thing like gold is tested by fire to the fullest extent before it is purchased. We are human beings with a spirit, a soul and body need to go through series of testing by the Lord before we can serve God. Let us submit ourselves to the Lord because we love the Lord as the source and fountain of our lives. Good things will surely happen for those who hang on in trusting the Lord. No one can take a leadership for himself or herself. Unless the Lord chooses us, there is no way we will be blessed. We can pacify our consciences telling that God is with us because we have been chosen by some people. They have chosen us for their personal and selfish agenda. All our plans and dreams come to nothing if God has not chosen us. On the contrary, if God has chosen someone, God himself equips them with all the necessary graces and tests them in a furnace of selfless service to the poor, the needy and the outcast of the society. We cannot escape God’s testing if we want to serve God. We will be grilled and toasted in the furnace of humility and truth. Even if the whole world supports us and promises us to help us, we can do nothing without the blessings. The everlasting joy comes from the Lord by our humble service to the humanity not to those whom we choose to love and serve. If our agendas and our plans are contrary to the will of God, we are not going to achieve anything during the time we have taken up on ourselves to serve. We need to learn trusting in the Lord at all times in order to serve God fruitfully. God’s love and compassion will help us to go through the humiliation and frustration God puts through. “For the Lord is compassionate and merciful, God forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.” (Sir. 2:11). The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “Commit your life to the Lord, trust Him and God will help you.” (Ps.37:5). The Gospel invites us to be the servant of all when we want to serve. Pride prevents us to learn from the others who went before us. It is arrogance and be-sure mentality, makes us to complain than to compliment. When our attitude of service exceeds the display our self, we are truly becoming a humble servant. Jesus invites us to be the servant for those who are vulnerable like the little children – the sick, the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the imprisoned, and the abused. Our ministry should focus on the poor and the weakest members of whom we are called to serve. May you have good day.