Becoming Servants


Becoming Servants

Isaiah, Mary, Paul and John the Baptist invite us to become servants of the Lord with them. Each one calls us to trust in God’s loving care, which in turn will enable God to work through us to accomplish what God wishes to accomplish in our world. As we look at each one, we can only marvel at how their simple “yes” transformed the world in some way.

Isaiah opened his heart and his life to the Spirit of the Lord, who transformed him into a symbol of hope and joy for God’s people, bringing hope and peace to a people downtrodden and without direction. We hear Isaiah’s words so often during Advent, where he sings of the great things God will do; healing the broken-hearted, healing those who are lacking wholeness in some way (the deaf, blind, mute, lame, poor) and promising a new beginning. Isaiah not only proclaimed God’s promise, but he lived it in his own life and ministry.

Mary’s song of thanksgiving, the Magnificat, echoes some of Isaiah’s words in the first reading. By her simple yes, she helped transform the world, bringing the Messiah to birth in our world as one of us. By her yes, Mary put herself at the service of God, who chooses to manifest in a new and wonderful way the loving relationship with us that God desired at the time of creation. While Mary’s yes might seem a simple act, it continues to transform the world through those who respond to Jesus’ call to continue to build the Kingdom here in our world. Her yes is a radical response to her trust in God’s love and invites us to respond in like manner.

St. Paul also challenges us with his admonition to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances” and the promise that “the one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.” Paul’s life was upended when he encountered the Lord on the road to Damascus. From that point, his life was never the same again and he spent his life travelling through Asia Minor and Greece and finally, Rome, announcing the Good News and building the Kingdom. When Paul speaks of his trials along the way, one can only marvel at the trust Paul had in God’s love for him and in the guidance of the Spirit.

Like Mary and Paul, John the Baptist’s life points to Jesus and invites his listeners into an awareness of God’s love, which will be manifested in a concrete way in the life and ministry of Jesus. John reminds us that the coming of God’s reign is gift and grace. We cannot make it happen, but we can live in such a way that we can help others know that there is something good, something deeper happening in our world, something more meaningful than society offers us.

Isaiah, Mary, Paul and John the Baptist remind us that God does great things, not just once, a long time ago, but continually, among and through us. How are we called to respond to allow God to do great things for us and through us?

By Richard Beaudette, OMI
Vocation Team