Saturday, January 18, 2014

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: "You are my servant"

You are my servant.”

What does it mean to be a servant? For Christ it meant doing the Father’s will by dying for our salvation on the Cross as the Suffering Servant for all of mankind. Thus we know that through serving us God demonstrates His love for us. For John the Baptist it meant prophetic proclamation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God.

For you and me, being a servant means much the same as it did for John: “He must increase, I must decrease.”

The first quality of a servant is the ability to wait, the virtue of patience.

"I have waited, waited for the LORD, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry."

Having heard the Lord as a gift through patient attentiveness, a practice of love in prayer, we then have something of meaning to say, a reason for praising Him.

"And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God."

One of the ways that God puts a song into our mouths is through His holy Word in the Scriptures and, as we see here, in the Psalms. The Scriptures direct us back to being with God, to loving Him in daily life by seeking and doing His will.

“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!”

True fulfillment is not worldly happiness or satisfaction but rather doing God’s will. The results of that can be painful as they were for both John who was beheaded and for Christ who gave His life.

We have here no lasting city. We must lay up treasure in heaven if we wish to be rich in what truly matters. Acting in faith is the first step which leads to the total joy of sanctification in God’s image and likeness. Witness to the suffering servanthood of our Savior Jesus Christ through praise at Mass and in life:

“I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.”

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