Today’s Gospel: John 13:16-20
We could spend much time evaluating Jesus’s words here. Another translation indicates the word ‘servant’ should be ‘slave’ in this passage. Though He is fully divine, He calls Himself a slave of the Father. His mission is accomplished with great humility, desiring that we would receive everything from the Father.
So often, we think of the ways God can serve us – grant forgiveness, bring healing, guide our paths through life. Here, though, Jesus is encouraging us to recall that as He was sent by the Father, we, too, are to be sent. “Blessed are you if you do them.” So what does this mean? If His whole mission was to bring mercy to the world and restore of our free, loving relationship with the Father, then we necessarily must engage in that same mission. It is not enough that we live a prayerful life; we must bring others the news that the Father desires their hearts to be consumed and restored in his love.
It seems a stretch that any of us would consider ourselves greater than Jesus, but I think we may kid ourselves from time to time. When we put off our prayer time to attend to busyness, or we hesitate to forgive a family member who has wronged us, we turn away from this mission of mercy.
Jesus Himself shows us that in order to fully participate in the will of the Father, we must be humble enough to accept all things from the Father. We must accept ourselves as we are, created by the Father for Himself. This gift of grace from the Lord empowers us to make of ourselves a gift for others, and ultimately give our whole lives for the glory of God.
I step into the Lord’s presence and feel His loving gaze on me. Do I give God permission to transform my heart so that I can engage in His mission of salvation for myself and others?
Lord, help me today to accept Your blessings and to see myself as You see me. It is only in receiving the gift of myself that I can truly accept You in a way that transforms my life to serve others for Your glory. Help me to receive others as You do, offering peace and mercy.
Copyright 2018 Holly Novotny
Holly Novotny is a wife and mother of two teenage daughters. The Lord’s mercy and grace radically changed her life as a young adult and she threw herself into service of the Church. She is a Lifetime Marian Servant of Divine Providence and as a graduate of the Cenacle School of Spirituality offers spiritual direction in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
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