The Word Among Us

February 2019 Issue

Lord, I Am Your Servant

A Letter from the Publisher

By: Jeff Smith

Lord, I Am Your Servant: A Letter from the Publisher by Jeff Smith

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the end of your life here on earth, wouldn’t you love to hear the Lord say to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, . . . come, share your master’s joy”? (Matthew 25:23). This is what I hope to hear from the Lord when I see him face-to-face.

There are so many titles that Jesus gives us. He calls us his sons and daughters. He calls us his disciples. He calls us the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and children of his Father. These are wonderful blessings that God has given us. But of all these titles, my favorite is servant. We are God’s servants, and he is our Master.

Part of the reason why I love this title is because it reminds me of Jesus himself. When he came to earth, he took the form of a servant. He poured himself out for us on the cross—serving us so that we could be rescued from sin and death (Philippians 2:7). This pleased the Father so much that “God greatly exalted him” (2:9). At his very core, Jesus was a servant. He came, not to be served, but to serve.

St. Paul also referred to himself as a “servant” of the Lord. He opened his Letters to the Romans and to Titus referring to himself as “a servant of Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:1). And he made sure that everyone knew how valuable this title was to him: “Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:1). It was an honor for him to bear that title.

In biblical times, a servant was considered to belong to his or her master. In a similar way, each of us belongs to Jesus, our eternal Master. This means that everything that we have belongs to our Lord. St. Ignatius of Loyola emphasized this point when he taught people to pray, “Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, All I have and call my own. You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.” This is the prayer of a servant of the Lord.

Maybe this month, you could make up your own “servant prayer.” Mine might be something like this: “Lord, I am your servant. My life is yours. My heart and my mind are yours. My body is yours. My time is yours. My money is yours. My family is yours. My blessings and my struggles are yours. I want to be your servant, even if only an unprofitable servant (Luke 17:10). I give all that I am to you.”

As you pray through the front section articles this month, remember that God never forgets your smallest act of service, even giving someone a cup of water (Mark 9:41). Let him encourage you and tell you how delighted he is that you are his servant!

Jeff Smith