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Reflection by Lyn Francisco
Today's Gospel: Luke 17:7-10 - Memorial of St. Leo the Great
I will admit: this passage was a little difficult for me. What can be said about someone who demands of his servant to wait on him hand and foot after the servant had a long, hard day out in the fields? And then I wondered: was the subject of this story a servant or a slave? Jesus said, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do’” (Lk 17:10). This made me think of a hymn that one may commonly hear in church titled “The Servant Song” which was written by Richard Gillard. The first part of the hymn goes, “Will you let me be your servant / Let me be as Christ to you / Pray that I might have the grace to / let me be your servant, too.” I get a sense of having the desire of humbly serving others when I hear “The Servant Song,” and that last sentence of today’s Gospel gives me that same sense. It made me think of all the times I’ve helped others, whether it be small things like doing a favor for a friend, or participating in large community activities like helping to feed the homeless at the Community Café here in Durham or collecting food to place in a Project 5000 box to help hungry families. I don’t do these things out of a sense of obligation; rather, I do them because I like to help others with no strings attached. Gillard says it well in another stanza of his hymn: “We are here to help each other / walk the mile and bear the load.” I’d like to think this is what Jesus meant when He said we are all “unprofitable servants.”
Who is greater, the one seated at the table or the one who serves? Do we do things out of a sense of obligation or do we do things with no expectations or no strings attached?
Gracious God, Your Son was like a servant to us all, washing our feet and making the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross to save us. Help us to be humble and grateful servants that we may be mindful of all You have done for us. Amen.
Copyright 2020 Lyn Francisco
Lyn Francisco is an organic chemist by training and education. When she is not at the lab bench, she occupies an organ bench in churches around Durham, NC. She also serves as cantor at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham.
About the Author
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