The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

9th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Tue, 06/02/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

“Happiness is being served.”
This was the attitude of the Greeks during the time of Jesus.
For the Greeks, ruling took precedence over serving.
The only thing a person should serve is his/her own desires.
 
In the Jewish culture of the time, the master/servant relationship was accepted.
There was nothing unworthy about serving another.
Leviticus 19:18 states “thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself”.
This love included a readiness and commitment to serve one’s neighbor.
Over time service was less and less understood as sacrifice for others
and more and more understood as work of merit before God.
 
Enter Jesus.
He reveals that love of God is connected to love of neighbor.
To serve one’s neighbor is to serve God.
For Jesus, service is what makes a disciple a disciple.
He reverses the estimation that being served is better than serving
Who is greater:  the one being served or the one who serves?
Jesus answers this by saying “I am among you as a servant”.
To prove this he washes the feet of his disciples.
Jesus hereby institutes a new pattern in human relationships.
 
What is service?  It is an act of practical love.
Activities of service noted by Jesus include giving food and drink, extending shelter,
providing clothes, and visiting the sick and prisoners.  (we see these as acts of ministry)
These are signs of active Christian love for neighbor….and are the mark of true discipleship.
 
It was part of the accepted natural order of things
whereby the princes of the nations lord it over their subjects
and great ones exercise authority.
Jesus is concerned with the supernatural—establishing the Kingdom of God and the age of glory.  This goal is realized only through suffering and death. 
The point of suffering is not suffering.  The point of suffering is service.
Sacrificial suffering entails service.
The greatest and most perfect sacrifice is the offering of one’s life for others. 
This is the essence of service.
And the reward of such service is fellowship, communion with the Father.
 
Jesus uses this confrontation with his opponents to teach about relationship to God.
The coin belongs to Caesar.  Give it to Caesar.
What belongs to God?  Our service….sacrificial service to our neighbor.
Genuine concern, respect, willingness, love, sacrifice
are all part of Christian service, are all part of Christian discipleship.
 
Seeking happiness is not being selfish
as long as we find it by serving God and neighbor.