The servant in the parable, who is held as a measure for the servant of God, is far from being useless or unprofitable. The Greek achreios does not mean “useless” but carries the idea of humble condition, insignificant or negligible. The servant does many things for his employer and master, but he does not lay claim to any special reward or gratitude. Being a “mere” servant and nothing more, he simply fulfills his duty as a servant.
In the life of a servant of God, a human person is not a partner capable of concluding as an equal a contract or deal with God. Even his friendship with God does not give him the right to expect some sense of return. A servant executes the orders received from God without expecting any recompense. Before God, we are all mere servants. If we see ourselves thus, God, who rejoices in the humble heart, will raise us up and give us more than we can ever imagine.
Our human nature tends to make us seek return or affirmation for the good we do. Can we serve as best we can even if our service is pro bono or gratis?
Gospel • Lk 17:7-10
Jesus said to the Apostles: “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’? Would 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’? 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.’ ”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.