Although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted. (Romans 6:17)
Scripture uses many images to explain God’s relationship with his people: we are a body, and he is the head; we are an army, and he is our King; we are a family, and he is our Father. One that shows up in today’s reading tells us that we are the servants, and he is our master. So imagine yourself today in an old-fashioned stately home, perhaps like the one depicted in the television show Downton Abbey.
The master is good, and he wants his house to be a place of peace and generosity, where guests are honored and he is able to be about his good work. The work that his servants provide is essential, but he doesn’t just want them to work hard; their well-being has an impact on him and the way he wants his house to be run.
When the servants gossip or vie for the more respected position, it creates an atmosphere of mistrust and bickering. When they are lazy, the standard of service slips, and they begin to resent one another, perhaps even coming to blows. And when they don’t know each other well, the house feels cold and inhospitable.
But when the servants work together as a team, they enjoy their work more. When they are quick to serve not only the master but each other, a spirit of warm camaraderie arises, and the servants’ quarters are filled with laughter and kind words, which the master loves. People love to come and visit this house.
Think of an environment in which you serve alongside fellow servants of God. It could be in your parish, in some kind of community project, or among your own family. Now think of your place there. How do you treat your fellow servants? Could you do more to support them in their work? Think of how far a kind word or a patient attitude can go to strengthening your “team.” Even small acts of kindness to those you serve alongside can deepen your relationship with them. Every little thing you do can help make the Master’s house—this creation—a warm, hospitable place for all!
“Lord, show me how I can care for my fellow servants more faithfully. I want to make our home shine with your love!”~WAU