Monday 11 November 2013

Useless servants

The intriguing gospel text for tomorrow, Tuesday, Week 32, Year I: after you have done all that you were supposed to do, say: We are useless servants. What might that mean? Helpful reading it in conjunction with other 'master-servant' texts in the gospels. There is the parable of the talents: to the servant who has multiplied his talents, from 5 to 10, the master says: Well done, good and faithful servant! (Not: useless servant) Enter into the joy of your master. (Mt 25:21) And to those who fed, gave drink, clothed, visited the least of the brethren, the Lord says: enter into the kingdom prepared for you by my Father. Here we seem to have not law, but excess. But perhaps there is also the note of motivation: why am I doing what I am doing? Do I have expectations - of praise, of a good word, of reward? Does my relationship to the Lord have overtones of a commercial transaction ("I was so good, and this is what God did to me")? God is free. I am free. I do because I do, because it is good to do. I am good because it is good to be good. Because it flows from love. 

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