Journeying Together is a weekly series of Lenten reflections. Each Monday during Lent, a student or adult from the Prep community will share a reflection, which will be archived here. Our second reflection comes from Mr. James Maglione, ’15, of the Alumni Service Corps

Matthew 17:1-9

As we reflect upon the message behind Matthew’s passage, we are implored to understand that Jesus’ benevolence and leadership are forever bound. The entire Lenten season offers followers a chance to enter a deeper understanding of what it means to sacrifice, though our atonement is infinitesimal in comparison with that of Jesus. To sacrifice in the name of complete altruism is indicative of the type of leader that Jesus is: a servant leader. Even before his crucifixion, Jesus exemplifies what it means to be a servant leader through his relationship with his disciples and this story from Matthew is just one of the many. 

What has always drawn me to the parables of Jesus is his ability to place the needs of others before his own. This passage prefaces an impactful quotation that appears later in Matthew that states, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” While shining as pure as light, Jesus reassures his disciples, who have obviously been inspired by his servitude. Though Peter, James, and John need no reminder that Jesus is the son of God, Jesus proves that a leader empowers his or her followers to overcome their fears. Jesus has empowered every one of us to become leaders in our everyday lives, and it must not be forgotten that Jesus, the king of kings, washed the feet of his followers. 

At the end of the passage is a sobering reminder that Jesus’ time with the Apostles is finite. However, leaders are tasked with the responsibility of preparing their followers for a world without them. For Jesus to accept his inevitable fate shows restraint that can only be described as complete and true altruism, as well as a constant reminder that the sacrifice of our vices for the 40 days of Lent is a privilege. In the hopes that we too rise after death, our atonement allows us, rather than forces, to grow as servant leaders and ultimately become more Christ-like. While Jesus may not be with us directly, it’s our duty now to follow in his footsteps.

Mr. James Maglione, ’15, Alumni Service Corps

You can find all of our weekly Journeying Together reflections here.

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