Being Exalted

A new heart and a new spirit. That’s Jesus’ goal for us. He makes all things new, and he wants us to participate in this renewal by casting away all the bad and embracing all the good. He wants us to see what HE has done – turned the world’s understanding upside down – and walk in newness of life IN HIM.

That means every human tradition is questioned and held up to the true Light to see if it fits. Jesus tells his followers that they are to OBEY the scribes and Pharisees, but not IMITATE them. This is because they have the authority to teach the correct letter of the law, but they miss the spirit of the law, and so they distort the trajectory of the law from its true Goal. They have turned the whole tradition to their own benefit, their own honor and glory, not God’s.

Jesus’ whole warning against not calling anyone “Rabbi” or “Father” or “Master” is not intended to mean we can’t actually use any titles on earth; he is reminding us not to put ourselves above others because we are all children of the same God. He does not intend that there should be no hierarchy or any authority on earth; he is reminding us that those in authority have been called to serve others. We are all called to service, and those who are in positions of authority are called to greater service! A mother serves her family, a priest serves his parishioners, the store owner serves his customers, the President of a country serves the citizens. If a person in any role of authority fails to serve others, we call them “self-serving;” we do not express our admiration for self-serving people or hold them up as heroes to emulate!

On the contrary, those who give of themselves in service to others are the people we instinctively look up to: the boss who distributes the profit by giving all the employees big bonuses, or the policeman who puts his own life in danger to save another’s, for example.

In the Church, those we look up to are the saints. These are the real heroes of the Family of God, those who served others for love of God: Mother Teresa, Maximilian Kolbe, Vincent de Paul, the Cure of Ars, Damien the Leper, Sr. Clare Crockett (haven’t heard of her? I recommend the documentary, “All or Nothing” online!), and so many others who followed the Lord of all to serve others.

During Lent, we take time to ponder the Truth that the Lord of all Creation Himself “came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Who in your life has shown you what it means to serve others in self-forgetfulness? How are you being called to serve rather than be served?

Contact the author

Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and four grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is

Feature Image Credit: Aaron Burden,