Being True To God as His Servant
A Reflection for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD
Based on readings from Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 4:14-16, Mark 10: 35-45
Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus
Reformed Catholic Church of New England
"You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."(Mark 10:42-45)
These words from the Gospel of Saint Mark could not be any clearer but today so many who proclaim that they serve Almighty God do so by trying to appease and pander to the whims of humans beings and their political agendas, even so called followers of Jesus Christ.
St. Claude de la Colombriere, who was Canonized on 31 May 1992 by Pope John Paul II, wrote "Pious Reflections", "Meditations on the Passion", "Retreat and Spiritual Letters" and was the Spiritual director for Blessed Margaret Mary to whom Christ gave the instruction to promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
St. Claude was arrested and thrown into prison, denounced as a conspirator for preaching the way of Christ rather than those of the king. He wrote: “A strange and unhappy slavery is that of a man who seeks to please other men. I vow never to do anything nor to leave anything undone because of what people think. This will set up in me a great interior peace.”
The teachings of Jesus Christ have only show distain for sins of pride exhibited by the religious leaders of His time. He preached mercy, compassion and justice for ALL people. Christ was totally aware of the human condition and our weaknesses.
In the second reading from Hebrews we hear the following words: “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who, in every respect, has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Christ showed us his willingness to forgive our transgressions when He wrote “Let He who is without sin, cast the first stone” when the priests and others were about to stone the woman caught in adultery.
Today’s Gospel is an instruction to all God‘s children, especially those whom God has called to serve as ministers of the Gospel and the Eucharist.
We cannot judge who is and who is not worthy of the love of Almighty God.
We cannot by and allow injustice to be perpetrated against any of God’s children.
We need to be a servant to God’s children just as Christ demonstrated he was a servant when he girded himself and washed the feet of the Apostles. Christ admonished the priests of His time with these words; “My house is a house of prayer but you have made it into a den of thieves” and He took pity on those who the disciples tried to push away when they sought Healing from Christ and cured them.
We are not called to make judgments as to who gains everlasting life, that is the domain of Almighty God.
We who God called to serve as His servants on earth are to proclaim the truth of Christ’s teachings and to be there to supply human comfort, counseling, compassion and direction to those who are attempting to walk in the footsteps of Christ.
We are called to serve Christ by practicing the virtues of Charity, Patience, Fortitude, Forgiveness, Mercy and above all to see all we encounter as a child of God and respect them for how God created them even though they may be different than we are.
God created all things for a reason, His reason, not ours.
It is our responsibility to discern what He created things for and to use them properly according to that use.
We need to take care of all That God created. That means we need to insure that we do not destroy the environment with willful waste of our resources but use them wisely.
Being a servant of God is not an easy task as Christ let us know when He said ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
Blessed Charles de Foucald wrote a beautiful prayer entitledL: PRAYER OF ABANDONMENT in which he prayed:
Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this.
Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. AMEN
We, who claim we love God and desire to please Him could all do well if we abandoned ourselves to serve Him as Blessed Charles did.
In Luke 16 we hear Christ tell us: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Man.”. Let us vow to serve God as best we can which means to love one another as Christ loved us. AMEN