From a Creighton Student's Perspective
November 13th , 2007
Junior Spanish, Justice & Society double major
“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.’” Lk 17:10
In today’s Gospel according to Luke, we receive a sort of reminder of humility that we so often forget and keep stowed behind our loudly proclaimed achievements. So often I find in the American culture that we rarely even think to acknowledge those who serve us, much less thank them or offer them an invitation to our table. There seems to be this innate feeling of deservedness within our culture which I find taints us as Christians and keeps us from remembering that we too are servants of God, no more valuable than those we so carelessly cast aside.
When reading any passage from the Gospel, it is always easy to disregard the message as something irrelevant to our current times or situation. We may not precisely understand the significance of Jesus’ relationship with the tax collectors or understand what the resurrection signifies for our salvation, but I feel today’s reading from Luke has great relativity to our current times, especially when compared to the mistreatment of minorities in common culture.
When I read the word ‘servant’ from Luke 17:7, I do not think of the servant “who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field.” Rather, I think of those who serve us everyday; those who exist to us without a name or face. I think of those working in the United States at jobs most would reject only to be called ‘illegal’ and ‘alien.’ I think of Ethiopian coffee farmers growing the very product that has become so profitable around the world who cannot even feed their children. I think of these ‘servants’ and wonder why the majority of us living in the first world have so easily excluded ourselves from being servants as well.
Someone once told me that we living in the first world should be envious of those living in third world poverty. When I asked why that is she responded, “Because the poor fulfill their servitude to God in their daily sufferings that a life in poverty presents to them. It is we, the rich and privileged of the world who must deny the materialistic life that lies before us and counter-culturally live an unprofitable life for the poor.” It is at this point that I think it is of utmost importance to remind ourselves that we, too, are servants, unprofitable servants, who are obliged not only to serve God, but to serve one another.
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