Daily Reflection
November 12th, 2002
 Howie Kalb, S.J.
Jesuit Community
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Memorial, St. Josephat
Titus 2:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 37:3-4, 18, 23, 27, 29
Luke 17:7-10

In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius encourages the retreatant to always strive for the “magis” in following Christ.  In our Scripture passages today we are given two reasons why striving for this “greater service” is important.

In his letter to Titus, Paul is encouraging the older men and women by their good example they must teach the younger members of the Christian Community.  Next, Paul admonishes the young to keep themselves under control and not fail to set a good example for others.

In grade school, my friends and I had lots of heroes in the sports world.  We would exchange trading cards, read whatever we could get our hands on concerning the performance of these athletic giants on and off the fields of play and try to imitate their lead.  Then during high school, the most influential heroes for me were two of the Jesuit Scholastics (seminarian teachers in training).  Their example, dedication to us students and their cheerful and meaningful way they lived their daily lives made a tremendous impression on me.  I became convinced that a vocation like theirs should be the lifestyle of my future.  Their living the “magis” helped me to decide my vocation to join the Jesuits.  

We never know what impact, for good or evil, we have on others.  Paul is challenging the readers of his day along with us to pursue the “magis” in the hope that the example of our lifestyle might further God’s Kingdom on earth.
In the Gospel, Jesus uses a brief parable to explain the advantage of cheerfully pursuing the “magis.”   Both the master and the servant take it for granted that the later will work the ground.  And since the servant is totally dependent on the master, even after the normal day’s work is over, he must be ready for further service.  Our dependent relationship on the Lord is the same.  Beyond what is obligatory in following Christ, there will always be areas of additional service.  And this “magis” embraced with spontaneity, cheerfulness and unselfish devotion can be the good example that works to spread God’s Kingdom.    

One faith message from today’s readings can be the challenge to live the “magis.”  This “going beyond the call of duty” can have the positive influence on the way our friends and neighbors are motivated to serve the Lord.  The more we live completely dependent upon God the more we will be aware that just as his loving care and protection knows no parameters so our loving service of the Lord will always find new ways for doing more.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook