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Upgrading the status of servants

It’s never a shame to be a servant, to have the mentality and the attitude of one. In fact, to be a servant is an integral part of our dignity as children of God, made in his image and likeness.

We are reminded of this basic truth about ourselves in that gospel story of the visit of Our Lady to her cousin, Elizabeth. (cfr. Lk 1,39-45) Though she already knew that she was the mother of the Son of God, her first action after being told that was to go “in haste” to her cousin to be of help.

We have to clarify our understanding and attitude toward the status of servants. Very often, we tend to think of them in a lowly way. It’s a very restrictive, way-off-the-mark understanding of the real essence of servanthood.

We are actually made to serve, since to serve is the very action of love that is supposed to be the very essence of our humanity, since it is the essence of God himself in whose image and likeness we are made.

Irrespective of our conditions in our earthly life, whether we are rich or poor, powerful or not so, highly-placed or lowly in social status, etc., we are meant to serve. Otherwise we would actually be contradicting the very essence of our humanity, let alone, our Christianity.

And let’s see to it that to be a servant means we really should enter into the lives of others, getting involved in their life’s drama, so we can truly be of help. We should not limit our serving on the material and external aspects of people’s needs. We should go all the way to serving them in their most important need, which is their own salvation, the health of their spiritual and moral lives, their ultimate need for God.

This definitely would require a lot of sacrifice. And Christ is showing us the way. To serve us in order to save us, to make us holy, to make us children of God, image and likeness of God, sharers of his divine life, he offered his life on the cross.

We should have no doubt that to be a servant like Christ and our Lady, we should be willing to make a lot of sacrifices, and to follow what Christ himself told us—that we deny ourselves and carry the cross.

There is no other way to develop the proper life of a servant. We just have to ask for God’s grace always, since it’s only through grace that we can manage to be a servant as Christ and Our Lady themselves were servants.

Let’s remember that Christ himself said that he came to serve and not to be served. Thus, we should be wary when we enjoy certain privileges in life that may tempt us to think that we ought to be served. Obviously, we cannot help but be served somehow since we are always in need of something. But we should try not to be served in those areas which we can take care of ourselves.

We should also try to serve without attracting unnecessary attention from others. As much as possible, we should pass unnoticed while serving. That way, we can help assure ourselves that our intentions are pure and that we rid ourselves of some ulterior motives.

Let’s remember that serving should be done in joy, convinced that by serving we are making ourselves like Christ who is our greatest joy!*

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