the low-down on serving
"He turned about in anger and left. But his servants came up and reasoned with him." —2 Kings 5:12-13
Proud Naaman was surrounded by humble servants. His wife's servant girl, a young Israelite whose country Naaman had raided, swallowed any national pride she may have held and pointed Naaman to the source of healing. At the house of the prophet Elisha, Naaman's humble "servants came up and reasoned with him," leading him to healing in the Jordan's waters. Such humility was not an automatic response for a servant, as Elisha's servant Gehazi tragically proved shortly after Naaman's healing (see 2 Kgs 5:20ff). Naaman's servants had more to do with Naaman's healing than did Naaman.
When Jesus preached at Nazareth, He specifically called attention to the humble servants in Naaman's party. Where were the humble servants in the synagogue at Nazareth? Apparently, there weren't any. "The whole audience in the synagogue was filled with indignation" (Lk 4:28). No one served this proud congregation by humbly swallowing their pride, reasoning with the leaders of the synagogue rebellion, and leading them to the healing that Jesus wanted to give (see Lk 4:18; Mk 6:5).
Who will serve by taking the low places? (see Lk 14:10) If no one takes the lowly servant positions, then Jesus gets kicked out of families, workplaces, churches, and towns. Get behind in the world! Serve!
Prayer: Father, close my heart to pride and open my eyes to Your opportunities.
Promise: "There is no God in all the earth, except in Israel." —2 Kgs 5:15
Praise: St. Frances and her sister-in-law shared a fruitful relationship in Christ. They met regularly for prayer, to care for the sick in a local hospital, and to come to the aid of the poor.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.