“serve the lord with gladness” (ps 100:2)
“Must I give up?” —Judges 9:9, 11, 13
The olive tree, fig tree, and vine did not wish to be generous. They each said: “Must I give up?” The workers who bore the day’s heat and the full burden were treated fairly, but wanted the master to pay by the hour instead of paying by the day. They were envious because he was generous (Mt 20:15).
God is generous. He answered the question “Must I give up?” by giving up His only Son so that we might have the possibility of repenting, believing, and gaining eternal life (Jn 3:16).
Jesus gave up much in order to rule over us. He gave up eternal joy with His Father. He gave up His freedom on earth, and became a slave (Phil 2:7). Despite all Jesus gave up, humankind responded by saying, “We will not have this Man rule over us” (Lk 19:14).
When disciples of Jesus hold back from leadership and service, the worldly fill the leadership void. Thus the result is selfish or poor leadership. When disciples of Jesus work for a reward rather than for love of Jesus, the work might get done, but will anyone who observes our grumbling service want to give their lives to the Lord?
To serve Jesus, King of the Universe, is worth any sacrifice, even a life spent bearing the heat and burdens (Mt 20:12). Accept Jesus’ rule over you, His way of righteousness (Mt 6:33). “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps 100:2). He will provide all that you need (Phil 4:19).
Prayer: Father, knowing that I love and serve You is enough reward for me. Jesus, King of kings, reign supreme in my life.
Promise: “Thus the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” —Mt 20:16
Praise: St. Rose of Lima, after years of prayer and penance, reached out to care for the needy, both young and old.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period August 1, 2023 through September 30, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 4, 2023
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