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29th Week in Ordinary Time
He will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. (Luke 12:37)
Picture a state dinner in a nation’s capital: a lavish dining hall, silver and crystal lining the table, waiters lined up ready to serve the guests. A military band strikes up a fanfare, and the head of state enters. But instead of sitting down, he removes his dinner jacket, dons an apron, and asks the waiters to be seated at the table. Then, slowly and carefully, he proceeds to serve them the meal. Crazy, right?
Amazingly, the reality at the center of our faith transcends even this illustration. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, gave up his very life to save us from sin. What’s more, we learn that this wasn’t an exceptional act; it’s part of who he is. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells his disciples that when he returns, he will once again serve those whom he finds waiting for him.
But how does this truth about God affect our lives now? Certainly, it fills us with awe and gratitude. But how about our relationships with other people? Do we say, “Hey, God serves me, so should you!” Of course not! God’s heart of service is meant to humble us and move us to imitate him. His servant love should inspire us to serve as well.
Jesus tells us that love is expressed most fully in laying down our lives for each other. When we allow servant love to be the center of our relationships with our friends and family, rather than selfish interests, it changes everything. We find that we are able to connect more deeply with our spouses and children, with our friends and co-workers. At the same time, we see our own self-serving motivations begin to weaken. In short, we are giving God’s love a foothold in our lives.
How can you lay down your life today? Take a look at the next twenty-four hours, and anticipate the opportunities that the Lord will give you to imitate his servant heart. Then, when these opportunities arise, accept them eagerly. Know that as you get out of your comfort zone, something holy is happening: you are becoming Christ to another person.
“Lord, teach me how to serve as selflessly and humbly as you do.”
Ephesians 2:12-22; Psalm 85:9-14
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