November 11, 2008
Saint Martin of Tours. Memorial
Luke 17: 7-10
Jesus said to the Apostles: "Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here immediately and take your place at table'? Would he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished'? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you have given me life so that I may bear fruit that will last. I put my gifts and talents into your hands today, trusting that you will use me to help those in need.
Petition: Jesus, you spent your life on earth healing, teaching, and forgiving sins. Grant me the joy that comes from serving you in my neighbor.
1. Love Is Patient
Have you ever felt that nobody appreciates the work you do? If you have, then you’re in the same boat as the servant in today’s parable. He had been hard at work all day long and instead of receiving accolades, he received orders to keep working. This seems to be a hard teaching, but we must remember that Jesus provides examples so that we may learn the way to spiritual maturity. When we follow the path of service to our neighbors and loved ones, we should strive to be motivated by a pure love that is concerned about others’ welfare. Even though we might be hurt that nobody recognizes our contributions, we should keep in mind that God reads our hearts and is always pleased at the good we do.
2. He Must Increase
It is difficult to receive orders and be obedient, yet the call to serve is also a vote of confidence. When we serve, we build up our families, those around us, and even the Church itself. None of us is so gifted that we don’t need to rely on someone else for the things we need. When we are humble, we come to realize that we need others to help us, but even more importantly, we see that we rely on God for everything that is good.
3. Above and Beyond
Jesus knows what it means to go above and beyond the call of duty. There was no obligation for him to become a defenseless child, yet he did so because he wanted us to be able to approach him. There was no need for him to experience our limitations of hunger and fatigue, yet he did so because he wanted to bear our burdens. There was no law that said he must die on the cross, yet he did so because his love knows no limits. When we compare our lives to the Divine Master’s, we are compelled to say, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.”
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, thank you for becoming a man so that I can learn from your example of boundless love. You have given me life and you want me to experience it to the full by loving and serving others. I promise to follow you wherever you lead me.
Resolution: I will spend a few moments in prayer today asking God to send laborers to the harvest in the form of priestly and consecrated vocations to the Church.
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