JUST A DUTY!
(Lk 17: 5-10)
Dear friend, I’m about to tell you some stories whose characters, in my humble opinions, have listened and lived the words of Jesus in the Gospel we hear today: “When you have done all you have been commanded (by God), say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'” (Lk 17:10).
The first story: There is a boy, 9 years old, who seems to be a little different from the boys in the neighborhood. The other kids, after meals, go watch tivi or play video games. But this 9 year-old, Nicolas, goes clean the table and washes the dishes. Someone curious about his difference asked him:
– Nicolas, why do you do these jobs instead of playing with other friends?
+ Ah, because Saint Paul told the Thessalonians: “If someone does not want to work, he should not eat.” (Thes 3:10) But most importantly, the fourth commandment teaches us: “Honor your parents” (Ex 20), and I love my parents.
Wow, what an answer from a little kid. Well, Nicolas listens to God’s word and practises it, even perhaps as a duty, as homework, but it’s still wonderful, isn’t it?
The second story: An afternoon, a young man knocked at the door of the director of the Paris Foreign Missions Society.
+ Hello, father.
– Hello, can I help you?
+ I am a student. I would like to go to a remote place during this summer to help the poor.
– It’s compassionate of you. Would you please tell me what makes you think of spending your vacation time in such a place?
+ Because I heard Jesus say: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. (Mk 16:15)
– But there are only a few places left which are quite difficult, even dangerous. If you don’t like them, you can always come next summer.
+ No problem, father. Jesus also says: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Well, father, I’m only a humble servant of his. He has been so good to me.
The third story: A few years ago, I went with a group of students to visit a place called ‘SOS vilage’. SOS vilage consisted of several homes. Each home had a woman and many orphans. These women were just ordinary people but had extraordinary hearts. They volunteered to live their whole life with abandoned orphans so the latter might have a “mother”. When asked why they could live such a difficult life in these homes, they answered: “Jesus gave us his life and told us: ‘Do this in memory of me’ (Lk 22:19). Actually, we do what we are obliged to do.”
The fourth story: it’s the story of each of us, you and me. Let’s add it here to show that we listen to God’s word and put it into practice in concrete ways in the everyday. Let’s enjoy it together, my friend!
Joseph Viet, O.Carm.
En Francais: https://only3minutes.wordpress.com/french/376-2/