Monday, October 22, 2012

The Reward of a Servant

Friends of Faith:

It is human nature to want to be paid for our jobs; and rewarded for doing what is right—treats and stars when we were little, a paycheck when doing our jobs, or rewarding ourselves with a pair of shoes, a great meal or a glass of wine.  We sometimes expectreturned “favors” from those we have helped in the past and like the disciples request (or even demand) a “reserved seat in heaven.”
He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." …Jesus said to them, …but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared." Mt 10: 35-36, 40

But as Jesus said to his disciples, the power, the seat on his right and the seat on his left, is not for Him to give—that will only be judged by the supreme God on the final day. And only he knows what he has prepared, and what we have given of our hearts.
I have come to realize that happiness doesn’t come from instant gratifications or even from the things that “instantaneously gratify” me (like fast food and a drive thru) but rather from the smiles I receive for doing something for someone that isn’t used to receiving, or because someone else has received God’s miracles which we often take for granted:  life, health, happiness, or forgiveness.

How many times have I expected respect, praise or some type of power just like the disciples “expected” to become the authority by having a place reserved in heaven? But Jesus was quick to remind them (and us) that it is the “least” among us who will be rewarded.
Jesus summoned the Twelve and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mk 10: 42-45

Our prayers are not supposed to be demands with expectations, but rather praise and thanksgiving for all that we have been given, and an invocation for grace (instead of complaint) to accept the sufferings that are a result of our human choice to disobey (sin) in the Garden of Eden.
Heavenly Father, You are the ultimate power and I am Your servant. Help me to see and to not overlook those who are in need of a helping hand. May I have the humility to step forward and selflessly give my time, talents and treasure so that others may come to know the love, hope and the strength which only You can give. Thank you for the opportunities this week to see You in the miracles of innocent children, the smiles of spouses who are working to make their marriages as God designed, and the elderly who so joyously looked forward to the Eucharist. Amen.

Do we ask to receive and serve to be served? Or do we serve those who serve us—our parents, our employees, and our students—by being selfless children, employers and teachers?
Do we demand or assume our place is “reserved” in heaven, or are we constantly serving others as Christ served us—til death do us part?

Blessings in Christ,


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