TITUS 2: 1 – 8, 11 – 14
Beloved: Teach what befits sound doctrine. Bid the older men be temperate, serious, sensible, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Bid the older women likewise to be reverent in behaviour, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited. Likewise urge the younger men to control themselves. Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us. For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 37: 3 – 4, 18, 23, 27, 29 (R.) 39a
R/. From the Lord comes the salvation of the just.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
then you will dwell in the land and safely pasture.
Find your delight in the Lord,
who grants your heart’s desire. R/.
The Lord takes note of the days of the blameless;
their heritage will last forever.
By the Lord are the steps made firm
of one in whose path He delights. R/.
Then turn away from evil and do good,
and you may abide forever.
The just shall inherit the land;
there they shall abide forever. R/.
John 14: 23
If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.
“We unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.”
LUKE 17: 7 – 10
At that time: Jesus said, “Will any one of you, who has a servant ploughing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and put on your apron and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.”’
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Christian Service
November 8, 2022
“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” ( Luke 17:10)
This is a hard phrase to say and it is even harder to truly mean when said.
Imagine the context in which this attitude toward Christian service must be spoken and lived. For example, imagine a mother who spends the day cleaning and then preparing the family meal. At the end of the day, it is certainly nice to be recognized for her hard work and to be thanked for it. Of course, when the family is grateful and acknowledges this loving service, this gratitude is healthy and is nothing other than an act of love. It is good to be grateful and to express it. But this passage is not so much about the fact that we must strive to be grateful for the love and service of others, rather, it’s about our own motivation for service. Do you serve so as to be thanked? Or do you provide service because it is good and right to serve?
Jesus makes it clear that our Christian service to others, be it in the family or in some other context, must be primarily motivated by a certain duty of service. We must serve out of love regardless of the receptivity or acknowledgment of others.
Imagine, then, if you spent your day in some service and that service was done out of your love of others. Then imagine that no one expressed gratitude for your work. Should that change your commitment to service? Should the reaction, or lack of reaction, of others deter you from serving as God wants you to serve? Certainly not. We must serve and fulfill our Christian duty simply because it is the right thing to do and because it is what God wants of us.
Reflect, today, upon your motivation for loving service to others. Try to speak these words of the Gospel within the context of your life. It may be hard at first, but if you can serve with the mind that you are an “unprofitable servant” and that you have done nothing more than what you were “obliged to do,” then you will find that your charity takes on a whole new depth.
Lord, help me to serve freely and wholeheartedly out of love for You and others. Help me to give of myself regardless of the reaction of others and to find satisfaction in this act of love alone. Jesus, I trust in You.