Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin – Year B




Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 492

1st Reading – TI 2:1-8, 11-14

Beloved:
You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 37:3-4, 18 AND 23, 27 AND 29

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

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.'”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Christian Service

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” Luke 17:10b

This is a hard phrase to say and it is even harder to truly mean when said.

Imagine the context in which this attitude toward Christian service must be spoken and lived. For example, imagine a mother who spends the day cleaning and then preparing the family meal. At the end of the day, it is certainly nice to be recognized for her hard work and to be thanked for it. Of course, when the family is grateful and acknowledges this loving service, this gratitude is healthy and is nothing other than an act of love. It is good to be grateful and to express it. But this passage is not so much about the fact that we must strive to be grateful for the love and service of others, rather, it’s about our own motivation for service. Do you serve so as to be thanked? Or do you provide service because it is good and right to serve?

Jesus makes it clear that our Christian service to others, be it in the family or in some other context, must be primarily motivated by a certain duty of service. We must serve out of love regardless of the receptivity or acknowledgment of others.

Imagine, then, if you spent your day in some service and that service was done out of your love of others. Then imagine that no one expressed gratitude for your work. Should that change your commitment to service? Should the reaction, or lack of reaction, of others deter you from serving as God wants you to serve? Certainly not. We must serve and fulfill our Christian duty simply because it is the right thing to do and because it is what God wants of us.

Reflect, today, upon your motivation for loving service to others. Try to speak these words of the Gospel within the context of your life. It may be hard at first, but if you can serve with the mind that you are an “unprofitable servant” and that you have done nothing more than what you were “obliged to do,” then you will find that your charity takes on a whole new depth.

Lord, help me to serve freely and wholeheartedly out of love for You and others. Help me to give of myself regardless of the reaction of others and to find satisfaction in this act of love alone. Jesus, I trust in You.

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