Posted by: fvbcdm | May 30, 2013

Feast of Saint Joan of Arc (30 May 2013)

Today I want to address that terribly important principle of the Christian life enunciated by our Divine Lord: he did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. A very distant relative of mine was a lady born about the time of the Civil War on a sugar plantation on the Mississippi River upriver from New Orleans.  She wrote her autobiography, in which she remembers that when she was a child, she was taught to pray that she would always be the servant of others. That was an interesting concept at that time and place, because there were slaves on the plantation until they were freed by President Lincoln, and after that, there were field hands whose position was about the same as that of the former slaves.  The concept of master and slave was very familiar to those people, and yet she—a little girl in a relatively wealthy family—could kneel beside her bed at night and pray that she might “serve others.”

The same is true of us: if we are to be true Christians, imitating our Divine Lord as we should, we must seek to SERVE, to be of aid to others, to try to help, to make life easier and more pleasant for them. Some years ago, a friend of mine gave me a beautiful little alabaster statuette showing Jesus, down on the floor, washing the feet of Saint Peter. It is one of my favorite images, similar to the thought of Our Lord’s cooking breakfast for his apostles on the beach of the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection. When one loves, service becomes a joy. But that love must be mature. The ten-year-old boy balks at having to hang up his clothes or take out the garbage.  But one day, God willing, he will mature and then he will do those things gladly.  Our Holy Father the Pope uses the traditional title in Latin “Servus servorum Dei,”—the servant of the servants of God. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.

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