Tuesday of the 32nd Week of the Year

Luke 17:7-10

Attitude of a Servant

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Bernadette of Soubirous, the girl to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in Lourdes lived a life in obscurity as a contemplative nun. A journalist was able to track her down and eventually got the permission of the Prioress to interview her. One question that the journalist asked of her was why she opted to live in obscure life when she was so well known all over the world. In answer Bernadette compared herself to a house broom which has been put aside in a closet after it had been used to clean the room. Thus since God had found a purpose for her life and since that purpose had been achieved, she had now been set aside and she had chosen to do so in joy.

One can only marvel at the humility of this saintly woman. She has clearly recognized that she had only done her duty. In a world where people literally fight to gain power and recognition even at all cost and by all means, this humble attitude of Bernadette is truly a whiff of fresh air.

How common it is to boast of our accomplishments. More so if we refer to something which we have done for God. One can even fall into the idea that God owes us something for this. However, the gospel for today clearly states that such should never be the case for indeed what we have done was but out of our duty to love. It will be up to God if he reward us for that and we have to give to God that prerogative. (Fr. Emmanuel Menguito, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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Included in the daily routine of seminary life is manual work. Seminarians have to be close to nature, appreciate and love work not only to equip them for their future missionary work but also to grow as persons.

One afternoon, the priest in-charge of formation was coming down to see the boys working in the garden. As he got nearer, he sensed their enthusiasm and they seemed to have doubled their usual minimal effort in cutting grasses. He lingered for awhile near them and watched them work with approbation. Before the priest could utter some words of appreciation, one seminarian, sweat trickling on his forehead, immediately stood up and beaming with pride said, “We never knew we could accomplish this much!” Feeling that they deserved a reward, he continued, “Father, there is a blockbuster movie downtown, do you think it is possible for us to see the film tonight?”

Oftentimes we hear others saying that it is only the reward that matters. The joy and beauty of work is forgotten. Attitudes are being formed that work is only a means to get material reward. If there is a way to short-circuit the process to get the reward without work, the better. However, this is a dangerous thinking.

The gospel today reminds us that we have no right to claim merit for the works we do. “We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.” Everything is a blessing from God. All are gifts from above. To demand that we be compensated by God for our supposed good deeds is indeed a serious mistake. We can never thank God enough! (Fr. Ben Limsuan, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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Bonuses, high salaries, allowances, profit sharing and commissions are some of the benefits which big companies afford their workers as motivation to work harder and to reward them for work well done.

Jesus merely described the basic attitude a servant or a worker should have. A servant is simply there to work and to accomplish the household duties that are expected of him. There are no incentives and benefits to make him work harder and to reward him for finishing his day’s work in the field. He is not even asked to join at table and partake a meal with his master. He has to finish his works first, before he can eat and rest.

The purpose of Jesus in today’s gospel parable is simply to correct the way the scribes and Pharisees relate with God. They thought of religion as a contract between master and servant. They performed their religious duties in the hoper of getting special reward and better treatment in his kingdom.

Certainly, we cannot put God in “debt.” Salvation is not something “owed” by God to us, but it is rather a pure gift and grace.

We leave to God whatever he wishes to give us at the end of time. In fact, the duties and services we do for God are nothing in comparison to what Jesus has done for us on the cross.

So then, let us all continue what we have been doing for God, the church and others and trust God to take care of us in the future. “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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The carrot and stick approach is a widely used motivational tool. Parents use it for their children to behave well. Teachers apply it to their students for them to study well and submit home works on time. Companies use it to boost their employees’ performance level. However, in the long run, this approach does not really help, because this motivating factor lies outside the person. When gifts, good grades and other benefits stop, when spanking does not hurt anymore or when getting a passing grade is just enough, the carrot and stick approach loses its bite.

The factors that enhance a fruitful and meaningful life should first and foremost come from deep within a person. Our gospel underlines an inner motivation for us all: the recognition and acknowledgment of God’s love which inspires us to serve Him. It is precisely because God chose us that we strive to become faithful workers in His vineyard. When we have done our task, we do not seek rewards but humbly say that we simply have done what we ought to do. As Mother Teresa once said, “We are all pencils in the hand of God.” (Fr. Dennis Manzana, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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Some Filipino compatriots who work as domestic laborers in Frankfurt tell me that Germans are among the best employers in the world because they regard their domestic help as friends, not as slaves. The very idea of being a slave or being treated as one is repugnant to most of us. Our emotional and historical baggage associated with the reality of slavery is perhaps the reason why we have such a hard time understanding and accepting one of discipleship’s most important lessons – humble servanthood. Jesus conveys this message in this short parable of the Dutiful Servant.

For the Jews in the 1st century Roman Empire, slavery was simply a fact of life. Even Jesus did not question its morality. While the Greeks considered slaves to be subhuman, the Jews tended to show respect to their slaves. Lost like this was due to their own experience of bondage in Egypt. However, the boundaries between the roles of master and slave were clearly delineated: the master wasn’t there to serve the slave but the slave to serve the master. Jesus directs his parable towards the Pharisees who felt God owed them rewards for their acts of piety.

We sometimes fall into this pharisaical mode of thinking that our piety somehow earns us VIP treatment or that we gain some brownie points from God for obeying His commands. Jesus corrects our distorted understanding of divine grace and human merit by using the master-slave analogy. God is our master and we are His mere slaves. Anything he graciously bestows upon us is unmerited and pure grace, solely out of His boundless generosity. We must not misconstrue His generosity as an entitlement, like our inalienable constitutional right as citizens of His kingdom. God does not owe us a debt of gratitude (utang na loob). Rather we owe Him an unpayable debtand must thank Him endlessly. To be true disciples we must abandon an attitude of ‘entitlement,’ and instead, consider ourselves to be “unworthy slaves.” After we have hopefully learned the lesson of obedience well, He condescends to call us His friends. “I have called you friends because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father,” (John 15:13-15). (Fr. Oliver Quilab, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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The Filipinos are the world’s greatest servants! About 2,000 Filipinos leave the country everyday in search for greener pastures abroad. Ten percent of our country’s population is abroad. We are almost everywhere from Asia to Africa, America to Europe, even in Alaska, there are Filipinos. We see Filipino factory workers in Taiwan, doctors in the U.S., engineers in Saudi, nurses in England, domestic helpers in Hong Kong, musicians in Berlin….

Aside from the more than 14 billion U.S. dollars the overseas Filipinos workers send home yearly, which make the Philippine economy survive, are the positive feedbacks of many foreigners on their dedication, sincerity and industry. While other countries export machines, mineral and metals, we export manpower, not without the consequent dramatic separation of families. With this background, we can identify with the gospel today between the demanding master and the obedient servant. Sadly, there are “masters” who maltreat, abuse and even kill their servants!

Being a servant abroad is a very challenging calling. I heard from many “kababayans” various stories of success and failure. Some are lucky with their “masters.” Some, on the other hand, do not receive their salaries on time; others have to work even on Sundays; some are discriminated. It is love for their families back home that makes them work hard, they do overtime and assume various jobs; they risk life and limb (many are undocumented) and they beat insults, frustrations, loneliness as humble servants and solely with faith, prayer and trust in God.

More than being “modern heroes,” they too are foremost missionaries in many homes and hospitals, their simple presence being Christ to the sick, the old and the dying. (Fr. Adonis Narcelles, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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November 8, 2016 Tuesday

Business connotes profits. Its logic is not applicable to our relationship with God. When we do things well for God and for others, we should not expect anything in return: “Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” Preface IV for Masses on Weekdays perfectly puts it, “You have no need of our praise, yet our desire to thank you is itself your gift. Our prayer of thanksgiving adds nothing to your greatness, but makes us grow in your grace.” In a word, the Lord can never be indebted or under any obligation to us. Thus, from the lens of today’s gospel, to relate with God is to connect with Him in gratitude and the realization that we have received more than we deserve. Our God is generous, with unlimited blessings continuously showered upon us – such as quality education, as one alumnus of Divine Word College once acknowledged.

Relating with God is not regulated by what we do and think deserve His recompense. Faith in the Lord is not about doing good things and expecting something in return from Him. It is not limited to praying – pilgrimages, novenas, indulgences – dictating on Him what we want to happen for our personal interest and upliftment. True faith is about giving unconditionally of ourselves, our services and all we have to God. It is even just giving back to him a small piece of what he has already given us. Are we grateful to the Lord? Do we relate with Him realizing He has saved us inspite of our weaknesses? (Fr. Roberto Ibay, SVD DWC Vigan Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/1001-november-8-2016-tuesday

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by
Susan Ternus Tinley
School of Nursing

Memorial of St. Frances Cabrini
Wisdom 2:23–3:9
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
Luke 17:7-10

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Daily Reflections from a Student’s Point of View

Initially I found today’s gospel to be somewhat difficult to understand. Left to my own interpretation, I would tend to think of the master as being harsh and lacking in gratitude for what his servant has done for him. Fortunately this was the same Gospel we read last month on the 27th Sunday in Ordinary time, and I learned a different interpretation from Fr. Gillick’s reflection and our pastor’s homily. The point is not that the master is ungrateful.

The lesson Jesus is trying to teach is that it is not enough to just meet our obligations. The focus I was missing was on the last verse of this passage “So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” It can be tempting to pat ourselves on the back or even look for acknowledgement from others when we have met our obligations within a very secular society. Just meeting our obligations is nothing extraordinary; it is the extra-ordinary that we should strive for in our service to God and others.

The obligations of being a Catholic seemed to be predominant as I was growing up. These obligations included abstinence from meat on Fridays, Mass on Sundays and holy days, fast from midnight until the reception of the Eucharist, fasting in Lent, etc. Since the Second Vatican Council, the obligations are fewer and there is an expectation that we each will make our own personal choices for sacrifices and service that express our love for God. Superficially it seems that things have become more lax, but in reality it has become more challenging because we have to take more personal responsibility. We each have to discern what it is that God is calling us to do to serve him and those around us. It is not an easy task sometimes because he does not lay it out in black and white, and sometimes it is frightening that he may call us to do something beyond our comfort zone.

Today is the feast of St Frances Cabrini, the first United States citizen to be canonized. St Frances was an Italian who came to the US in 1889. Her life was a striking example of someone who went far beyond the obligations of the Church in her ministry to the poor immigrants from her native land. She followed God’s call throughout her life to ease the suffering of others, always trusting that the necessary material goods would be supplied one way or another. By the time of her death, she had founded over 60 schools, hospitals and orphanages, primarily to serve the needs of Italian immigrants.

My prayer today is that I have the resolve to go beyond the obligations and seek to serve others and the Lord in all that I do. I pray that, like St. Frances Cabrini, I have the courage to discern what it is that the Lord wants of me and trust that he will provide the means.

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HUMILITY: In Grade 6, we had a teacher in physical education who loved to tell us, “Boys, be humble.” That became his advice to us all the time. ‘Boys, you must be humble.” But my naughty classmates added something and said, “Boys, Be humble. Be humble like me.” Our teacher, while asking us to be humble, was obviously a very proud man. He failed to see the other components of humility. While it is true that humility stands on the leg that says you must be lowly. You must consider yourself like water going down, down, down, the lowest that it can go. Yes but that is not the most important component of humility. The other component of humility is that, even if we recognize that we must go down low, low, low, we must also go up, up and say, “Thank you, Lord, for all these blessings.” Humility is not only saying I am nothing. Humility is not only saying I am nothing. Humility is also saying, “Thank you, Lord for making me something even if I am nothing.”

The third component of humility is not only a matter of being lowly, it is not only a matter of recognizing God as the source of all blessings. The third component of humility is that all the blessings that we have received, we must use for others. Some people are very good in saying, ‘I am nothing,’ but when God blesses them, they still deny the blessings of God forget to give thanks. When God blesses them with extraordinary talents, they misuse, they ignore these they fail to use these talents for other people.

We are all blessed. It is not healthy to keep saying we are nothing. We are nothing left by ourselves but we are something because God has uplifted us. We are something because God has loved us. And because God has loved us, all the gestures, all the blessings that God has given us, we must use exclusively for the benefit of other people.

Humility stands, not on one leg, which is being lowly but on three: be lowly, be grateful, serve and live for others. (Socrates Villegas, DD, Love Like Jesus, p. 115)

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I find the gospel reading quite an embarrassing gospel story to proclaim. On first hearing, the story sounds as if Jesus is saying “OK” to the master’s unchristian way of treating a worker under him. Jesus’ words sound as if he were anti-labor, and pro-elite. It is good to bear in mind, however, that Jesus, in his storytelling, did not mean to highlight the attitude of the Master, but the attitude of the servant, in the face of everything in life, Jesus would want us to see ourselves as servants. Therefore:

  • We should live the art of receiving all from God. There is nothing that we have in ourselves – not even our inspiration to do good – which does not come from God. The initiative is always God’s. When we do good – like what most servants experience – what we simply do is follow the Master’s instructions and respond to the opportunities from the Master gives to us to do good. We never do good on our own.
  • We should never see our apostolate and ministries as ways of “earning” merits. Since our doing good as servants is always in faithful response to the master’s instructions and created opportunities, we, as servants, can never be good to the point that we are above the Master’s expectations! We do good only to the measure that the Master gives us. What we then think about as “merits” is actually nothing but “duty fulfilled in faithfulness to the Master’s expectations.” Come to think of it, in relation to God as our Master, the health, the breath, and the abilities we enjoy are not even ours. They are all the Master’s! (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday 2006 p. 325-326

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November 13, 2012

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
Tuesday of the 32nd Week
GREEN

Ti 2:1-8, 11-14
Ps 37
Lk 17:7-10

Lk 17:7-10
Attitude of a Servant

[Jesus said to his disciples,] 7“Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? 8Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? 9Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? 10So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’ ”

REFLECTION:

Unprofitable servants. The Gospel tells us the uncomfortable, inconvenient truth: we are but God’s stewards, workers in God’s vineyard. Everything we have is from God. We depend on God. Our duty is to work for God. We have no claims on the goodness or graciousness of God. Everything is given us because of God’s great love and not for any merits on our part. We must be grateful and do God’s work responsibly.

We cannot put on airs of superiority. As servants of God, we have equal abilities with everyone else. We are given specific tasks to fulfill. To accomplish these, God will equip us with skills and graces. Everything depends on God, not on our talents. As servants, we are just doing what we must do.

Yet our God is not a taskmaster. God is our Father. As our Father, God lightens our burdens, protects us from dangers, and wills our salvation. Contrary to expectations, God invites us to the table in the kingdom even as his Son Jesus waits on us and serves us.

We thank God for making us share in the ministry of Christ. Do we expect rewards for service in the Church? 

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2052-november-13-2012

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WORD Today (Wis 2:23-3:9; Lk 17:7-9): “When you’ve done all you were ordered, say ‘We’re unworthy servants, we’ve only done our duty,” (Lk 17:10).

Do I serve God in deep gratitude for having receive life, health, food, family and salvation? Or do I expect recognition and repayment in some form? The second attitude comes from the envy of the devil (Wis 2:23). It’s an evil seed planted in God’s garden that at first spoils our joy if we don’t get what we think we deserve. Then it grows into a weed that chokes out our sense of duty toward God. Finally it grows into the tree of deadly Pride. We start inventing rights that are wrong in God’s eyes. “Those who trust in God will understand truth and the faithful will live with Him in love,” (Wis 3:19) – Fr. Iko Bajos Nov 12, 2013)

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TUESDAY OF THE 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 17:7-10. Unsa may atong tumong sa pag-alagad sa Dios? Si Hesus miingon: “Kon makabuhat na kamo sa tanan nga gisugo kaninyo, ingna ninyo ‘Mga sulugoon kami ug nagbuhat lamang sa among katungdanan.’” Pinaagi ning mga pulonga gitudloan kita ni Hesus sa pagsilbi sa Dios nga dili mag-apas og balos. Sibo kini nga pahimangno tungod kay daghan kanato magserbisyo o kaha maghatag og donasyon tungod kay adunay pangayoon sa Ginoo. Unya ra ba’g dili ihatag sa Dios ang gipangayo magmahaymahay dayon kita. Kini magpakita lamang nga ang atong pagpangalagad ug pagtabang sa Simbahan dili pa tiunay. Ang pag-alagad sa Dios ug sa isigkatawo maoy atong katungdanan isip mga Kristiyanos. Buhaton nato kini nga puno sa gugma ug walay panglantaw nga pasidunggan ug balosan. Posted by Abet Uy

LUKE 17: 7-10. What is our goal to serve God? Jesus said: “If you’ve done all that I have commanded you, say ‘We are servants and just did our duty.'” With these words Jesus taught us to serve God not to pursue return. Well this warning because many of us serving or giving donations because the Lord has asked.Then alone or in God will not regret asking for us to regret. This just show that our ministry and help Church was not genuine. The service of God and neighbor is our duty as Christians. We do it full of love and without perspective of recognition and reward

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/11/tuesday-of-32nd-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – LUKAS 17:7-10. UNSA MAY SAKTONG TUMONG SA PAGPANGALAGAD? Si Hesus miingon: “Kon makabuhat na kamo sa tanan nga gisugo kaninyo, ingna ninyo ‘Mga sulugoon kami ug nagbuhat lamang sa among katungdanan.’” Ang Ginoo nagtudlo sa pagpangalagad nga dili mag-apas og balos. Tukma kini nga pahimangno tungod kay daghan kanato moserbisyo nga gustong daygon ug balosan. Unya ra ba’g dili mapasidunggan ug mabalosan, magmahay dayon ug motagam. Kini magpakita nga ang atong pagtabang dili pa tiunay ug kinasingkasing. Ang maayong tumong sa pagpangalagad mao ang kadayganan sa Ginoo ug ang kaayohan sa isigkaingon, dili sa kaugalingon. Sakto ang nagsulat: “When we show kindness to those who can repay us, it’s called networking. When we show kindness with no thought of repayment, it’s called love.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/11/tuesday-of-32nd-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Practical Tips on Love: Never say I LOVE YOU if you do not care. Never speak of LOVE and COMMITMENT if they are not there. Never enter into relationship if you meant to BREAK A HEART.

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THE PROFIT OF BEING AN UNPROFITABLE SERVANT: It is customary for government officials to put up billboards of their projects, even indicating that it is “their” project. But in reality, it is not their money but the taxpayers’ money that is being used. However, people tend to be indebted to the official because they are led to believe they owe it to the official. This shouldn’t be so because the official only initiated it. Even then, the question is, “Is the project part of the ‘responsibility’ of the official?” If so, it is only proper that he accomplish the project without expecting indebtedness from the people. It is another story if the official would provide his constituents with houses, cars or businesses using his own money. Only then should the people be indebted to him. Otherwise, just as in the Gospel  today, the official should say, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.”

Jesus actually warns us in presuming that just because we did some things for God, He owes us something. If we pray, make sacrifices, do acts of charity, and follow His commands, does God owe us anything? No. God owes us nothing. In fact, He will never owe us anything because everything comes from Him. In the end, we might not even be able to say we have accomplished what He commanded us to do. Rather, that we be found wanting, and so we ask for forgiveness and understanding for our lack. We are less than being unprofitable.

But it must not discourage us from striving. Jesus does not want us to be disheartened because we will remain “unprofitable” if that is our attitude. His point is that we be humble at all times. He wants us to be completely and always dependent on God. While we give our best, God will be there to do the rest. The goal and purpose of life is not for God to owe us but to be with Him who is the source of all graces. With Him, we will not be in need. With Him, we will always have enough. Fr. Benny Tuazon

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you give your best without expecting to be rewarded?

Thank You for the reminder, Lord, that we need to do what we are obliged to do without expecting to be rewarded. Help us to just do our best and trust that You will do the rest.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-11-11

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Reflection for Tuesday November 11, Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop; Luke 17:7-10 Reflection: What is the frequent failing of many who serve in the vineyard of the Lord Jesus Christ? It’s the feeling of arrogance and the feeling that he/she is special because he/she is serving in the church.

Take for example a priest who has a high sense of himself and who gives orders to those who are at church as if they are his slaves. Sad to say but this is true, it’s not only the priest who is guilty of this kind of failing we too are often guilty of this kind of ill-mannered behavior.

If we are like this then how could we bring others closer to Jesus and how could they see Jesus in us? Let us not forget that we who are followers of Jesus are His walking advertisement in this world. If we are arrogant and ill-mannered they might think that Jesus is like that too!

In our gospel Jesus reminds us that we are all servants before Him and our fellowmen. It doesn’t matter how high our position in the church, it doesn’t matter how educated/rich we are. If we are true followers of Jesus we must then become the servant of everyone.

For it’s in serving others and in our humility that we become real and authentic followers and servants of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/11/reflection-for-tuesday-november-11.html

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday November 8, Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 17:7-10

What characterize a meaningful life? It’s a life spent in service of God and our fellowmen. God brought us into this world not to be served but to served but to serve God is not easy it’s in fact tiring. Nevertheless, we have to serve so that we can continue the life of service of Jesus.

But what does it require to become a true servant? We have to be humble at all times for this is the only way that we could become true servants.   But do we have humility when we serve? We oftentimes serve the because we want to look good in the eyes of our fellowmen.

We oftentimes want to serve the poor and under privilege because we want to look good in the eyes of Jesus. But we cannot fool Jesus, we may fool our fellowmen but Jesus? We can never fool Him and we cannot hide from Jesus the true intent of our service for Him.

When you serve God He surely will reward you. You may not receive His reward immediately but in His own perfect time He will reward you. Your reward may even not come in your lifetime yet it surely will come after your lifetime in this world. –  Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/11/reflection-for-tuesday-november-8_4.html

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Unprofitable Servants

Laura Kazlas

November 11, 2014

Jesus was training his Apostles in today’s gospel to serve him, in preparation for their mission ahead. There would be no rewards for what they would do, and he wanted them to know upfront, what they were facing. He used the example of one of their servants waiting on them at table, after plowing the fields or tending the sheep. However, very few of us can relate to being a slave or a servant in modern times, except for those in the hospitality industry. Even then, most waiters, waitresses and other service workers are paid for their work.

It is our natural inclination to be paid or compensated for what we do. Even then though, we should strive to serve the Lord by the quality of our work. We work for our employers and those we serve for sure, but we also work for the Lord Jesus in all the small business transactions we are involved in throughout the day. Little things matter. Jesus spoke of something small in today’s gospel, by the manner in which a servant should serve.

Have you ever witnessed someone who performed a menial job in an outstanding manner? For an example, maybe a janitor who was carefully mopping the floor, or cleaning up trash at a business. Or perhaps a receptionist, doorman, bus driver or parking lot attendant who is extraordinarily pleasant and helpful each time you encounter them? If so, have you ever complimented them on their work?

How many people walk past someone cleaning up a public place and take their work for granted? It can really make their day to notice them, and compliment them on how good of a job they are doing. It is encouraging for them, that others appreciate their efforts.

The same is true with those who check us out at the grocery store, or in other retail stores. Do we hand them our money without ever looking them in the eyes or acknowledging them as a fellow human being? Try looking the cashier in the eye when you pay for your things, next time you go to the store, and perhaps say a word or two to them. It recognizes their worth and dignity as human beings and you can see the change take place in their eyes, when you do this.

We work every day and do not expect praise or thanks, but it doesn’t hurt to do so, in our every day encounters with others. A better world is built in the very small moments of the day. A small kindness can change the direction of the entire day, but the opposite can also be true. When someone has a bad day, it can cause a ripple effect for many other people too.

There was a story in the news recently about a man who stopped for coffee in a local coffee shop every day on his way to work. One day, he had just gotten a raise and decided to buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind him. That person in line did the same thing for the next person behind them. It caught on, and people kept buying each other’s coffee for eleven consecutive hours. It was so unusual that it made the headlines in the evening news. This man’s one small act of kindness was magnified until it improved the day of hundreds of other people.

In the first reading for Mass today, Saint Paul wrote a letter to Titus explaining how men and women should behave and train their children to be good Christians. Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to also let our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews see us being courteous and kind to strangers in public places too. Who knows? Maybe this kind of behavior might catch on and spread, like it did with the man in the coffee shop who showed a small kindness to a stranger behind him in line. Maybe our world can be made a better place to live in, one small action at a time, starting – today.

acatholic.org/unprofitable-servants/

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November 08, 2016

In today’s first reading we see the apostle Paul giving advice to various groups of Christians. Perhaps it is revealing, in this connection, that the first advice he gives to each group seems to fit that group particularly well. Thus he exhorts Titus to tell the older men to be sober. Why this advice? Because older men can easily become alcoholics if they are not careful, as we all know. The young men, on the other hand, are told to be self-controlled. A good advice for young males with hot blood in their veins, who are tempted to brag, to attempt dangerous stunts, run after skirts, etc.

But the third group, the older women, are told to abstain from gossip. Ah, gossip! Who among us does not enjoy to pass on a juicy tidbit of gossip? And, if someone approaches us with the magic words, “Did you know what X did yesterday?” how can we restrain our curiosity? Yet gossip is the most insidious poison of charity. It destroys reputations like nothing else. And it is spread under the pretext that “I am only telling the truth about people.”

We all know the expression “cha­racter assassination.” Well, gossip kills. No Christian should indulge in it or encourage it in any way.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3698-november-08-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Tuesday of the 32nd Week of the Year

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