God made man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature; it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover. But the souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die,
their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace. If they experienced punishment as men see it, their hope was rich with immortality; slight was their affliction, great will their blessings be. God has put them to the test and proved them worthy to be with him; he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a holocaust. When the time comes for his visitation they will shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they. They shall judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever. They who trust in him will understand the truth,
those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await those he has chosen.
Psalm 33 I will bless the Lord at all times.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’
This is not the Master’s last lesson on service.
Later on, Jesus will tell His disciples: “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father” (Jn 15:15).
Friends do not have to render accounts to each other. If servants are to fulfill their duties, we, His apostles, who are Jesus’ friends, must, even more so, accomplish the mission God has entrusted us with, while realizing our work does not deserve any recompense, for we do it joyously and, because whatever we have, whatever we are, is a gift we have received from God.
Service can sometimes be a way of avoiding intimacy. Doing good for others, being dutiful, is one of the known defence mechanisms.
For those who believe, everything is a sign,
For those who love, everything is a gift.
May the world come to love Jesus, not just serve him.