The Attitude of a Servant of God: We are unprofitable servants: we have done what we were obliged to do.
We should serve God because we want to and out of the goodness of our heart, without earthly expectations in return. When we serve in this way, we are true servants, knowing that it is God’s grace that allows us to serve, period. We should be grateful that we can serve God in any kind of way. We could be enticed to serve other gods or earthly things and miss out on what is important or better for us. As a Deacon in the Catholic Church, I took a vow to serve the Lord until I die. My reward will come from God when I enter his kingdom as a child of God, and live serving, praising, and worshiping him forever.
Christ wants to give us more than our earthly sense of entitlement. Even once we have done what we have been commanded, we insist that “we are unprofitable servants” in order to remind ourselves that “the grace of God has appeared”—which is given to us because of his goodness and not because we are useful or beneficial to God. Jesus Christ cleanses us for himself as his own people, training us to reject godless ways.
It seems to us that different moments in our human existence make us either more objective or subjective in serving God, depending on each circumstance. Indeed, time does not always carry the same weight. When we are happy, we want to prevent the hours from ever passing. When we are near a dying person, we want the hours to go slowly so we can be near that person for as long as possible. When we are suffering, it seems that the hours stand still and never end. We should be ready to welcome whatever comes to us in times of joy, love, or intimacy.
Lord, we want to live each moment by filling it with our love and service, living each moment with greatest intensity, just as the saints in heaven live their eternity. Each of their moments is made of love, praise, and service. Their eternity is a beatitude that no tongue can ever describe. We must always live more intensely the time we have left. What counts is not so much how long we live, but how we lived the time, we had. You will not question us about the number of years, but about how we serve you and the weight of the love reaped every day of our existence. Amen
Deacon Peter Smith serves at St. Mary’s/Holy Family Parish in Alabama, a retired Theology teacher from Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham, a retired soldier from the US Air Force, and a member of our Passionist Family.