"The greatest among you must be your servant. Who ever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
the greatest among you must be your servant.
These are words from Christ yesterday.
But they are words that are good for every day, especially during the season of Lent.
What is at the heart of a true servant?
While I was in Rome, I was able to spend a few moments in the Church of St Augustine, where St. Monica is buried. So to help understand what it means to be a servant i will enlist the help of St. Augustine himself:
"If you should ask me what are the ways of GOd, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, the third is still humility. If humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless."
These words are worth thinking about in regards to service.
As Christians, there is nothing beneath us, there is no act to lowly, except for that which is associated it with sinfulness.
Sin alone is the only act that we should frown upon. All other acts no matter how menial they seem are instrumental in getting us ever closer to living our true greatness as servants of God most High.
Humility is about action. We often have a common experience of those who speak but to not act. How often have we heard, 'do as I say not as I do' as a mantra from those who are in our lives.
But this can not be for the Christian. For us we do first, talk later. What we practice becomes what we preach and this is where humility thrives.
What of the things St. Jose MAria Escriva speaks about is humility. And he gives a list of things that helps us recognize when humility is not present. Here are a few:
* thinking that what you do or say is better than others
*always wanting to get your own way
*insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
*not being aware that all the gift you have are on loan
*mentioning yourself as an example for others to imitate
my personal favorite: refusing to carry out menial tasks promptly and on time
This is the one that most of us need to be attentive to.
As a servant there is nothing to lowly but sin itself. All acts are geared toward our own greatness as servants.
The greatest among you is the servant.
Ponder Jesus' invitation to greatness, and embrace the gift of humility: The ground from which all other virtues spring.