Serving the Servant

– Friday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time –

[Jesus] went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women … who provided for them out of their resources. [Luke 8:1-3]

When the second person of the Trinity chose to become man in the person of Jesus Christ, He chose to fully embrace human nature in both its glory and its lowliness. He chose to need food, sleep, rest, clothing, family, friends, and all the many other things that we as human beings are so familiar with.

But at more than a few different points in the gospels, we witness Jesus not having his needs met: he had no place to lay his head (Luke 9:58), had nothing to eat (Matthew 15:33), went without sleep (Luke 6:12), and was unable to escape the crowds to rest (Mark 6:31-33). It’s clear that his mission of saving souls and spreading the good news of the kingdom took precedence over His self-care. Certainly, Jesus is not encouraging his followers to excessively neglect their own well-being – he tells us to love each other as ourselves. But, rather, h­­e is showing his disciples and us that there is something greater here. He demonstrates both his commitment to the mission and his willingness to sacrifice for others. He came to serve, not to be served.

Yet Jesus is doing something else also. He is calling those who accompany him into this same selfless mission. Often, he calls us to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. And it is not always the destitute who need care. At times it is those whose lives have been taken up in service: parents, missionaries, or good leaders. The women who accompanied Jesus played a crucial role in the mission of Christ. May we always have hearts committed to that mission, sharing what resources we have been given with the one who has given us everything.

by David Kruse

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