Christian Service

Christian Service

November 12, 2019
Tuesday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Readings for Today

Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr – Memorial

“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.”  Luke 17:10b

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.

Pleading for Mercy and Forgiveness of Sin

From Psalm 51

 O loving and gracious God, have mercy.

Have pity upon me and take away the awful stain of my sin.

Oh, wash me, cleanse me from this guilt. Let me be pure again.

For I admit my shameful deed-it haunts me day and night.

It is a sin against You and Your infinite mercy.

 Create in me a new, clean heart, O God.

Purify me and make me white as snow.

Cleanse my thoughts and desires.

Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.

Jesus, have mercy on me.

Jesus, have mercy on me.

Jesus, have mercy on me.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Amen.

Now do not be afraid of the glorious Sacrament of Reconciliation!

Reflection 315: Mercy, Mercy and More Mercy

Reflection 315: Mercy, Mercy and More Mercy

Do you tire of speaking of the Mercy of God?  Do you find that it becomes repetitive and unimpressive?  If so, speak of Mercy all the more and ponder it with new zeal.  You must never tire of the Mercy of God.  The Mercy of God is so great and abundant that, in Heaven, you will see clearly how vast and wide it is.  You will comprehend that it is incomprehensible and will never tire of contemplating its beauty.  On Earth, you may find yourself tempted to dismiss Mercy as impractical and unimportant.  It may be perceived as something old and outdated.  When this happens, be reminded that this is foolishness and irrational.  Understanding God’s Mercy must become your daily goal and daily mission.  You must seek it day and night and never relent in your pursuit of this unending and unfathomable gift of God (See Diary #1521).

Ponder, today, these three simple words: Lord, have Mercy.  Say them often and intentionally.  Remind yourself that if you grow weary thinking about and speaking about the Mercy of God then you are failing to understand its depth and beauty.  God’s Mercy must engage your mind and will so forcefully that it is ever present and ever new.  Its newness, especially, will help to keep you engaged in this gift and it will enable you to continually probe its depths.  Lord, have Mercy, Christ, have Mercy, Lord, have Mercy.  Say this over and over and realize that you can never exhaust this glorious mystery of love.

Lord, you are never changing but always new.  Help me to never tire of the simple yet profound truth of your Divine Mercy.  Help me to always see the beauty and splendor of Your Divine Love.  I do love You, dear Lord, and I pray that I may love You more every day.  Lord, have Mercy on me.  Christ, have Mercy on me.  Lord, have mercy on me.  Your Mercy, Lord, is great and glorious.  Jesus, I trust in You.