Matthew 20: 20-28
Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time.
I will examine myself on what genuine Christian service
Matthew 20: 20-28
Lord Jesus, in spite of
my many failures, I know you continue to call me. Your Spirit continues to guide me. I trust in you,
love you and praise you for all your gifts to me. Amen.
Lord Jesus, grant
me a renewed sensitivity to the deepest needs of others.
1. Called to Serve:
era of Catholicism in which catch-phrases such as "called to serve" have been overused to the point
of becoming clichés, we risk forgetting how central service is to the Christian life. The minutes of
our lives are consumed in an incessant cascade of apparently important and urgent things to do.
Doesn't it happen, however, that in the midst of all this we actually miss any number of
opportunities to serve? Called to serve, yes, but we miss the call! And our service gets sidelined.
If service to my brothers and sisters is not an ordinary element of my daily life as a Christian, I
can be sure that I have succumbed to self-deception or taken a critically wrong turn
2. A Continuation of Christ:
We are called to give ourselves
unreservedly to others as a continuation of Christ. "A continuation of Christ": now, wouldn't that
make a wonderful epitaph?! For truly, if our Christian service is not a prolongation, an extension
of Jesus' love, if we are not giving him to others, if those whom we serve are not discovering him
in us, then our service is simply not service. It might be philanthropy, it might be empathy, but it
falls short of genuine Christian service if those whom we serve do not discover Christ in us. Like
John the Baptist, we must become less so that Jesus can become more in us, so that our brothers and
sisters are not cheated out of encountering that Christ whom they secretly long to discover in each
3. What Service Means:
Here it will be helpful simply to examine ourselves
on some of the essentials of Christian service. Is my daily life characterized by a concern for the
genuine good of others and by a readiness to do all the good I can for my brothers and sisters? Do I
actually engage in daily acts of service, whether big or small? Do I examine myself frequently on
the sin of omission? Do I strive, in carrying on the ordinary service required by my state in life,
to do so with extraordinary deliberateness and full, conscious self-giving?
Father, you call me to serve, and I know that service also means suffering at
times. If suffering is to be a part of your plan for me, give me the grace to collaborate with
Christ your son in the salvation of souls by offering that suffering generously to you. I ask this
in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Out of love for Christ, present in the
least of my brothers and sisters, I will examine myself on what genuine Christian service means to
me in practice, and what place it usually has in my daily life.