THE JOY OF BEING HIS SLAVE

“We will serve the Lord, our God, and obey His voice.” –Joshua 24:24

Mass Readings: August 19
First: Joshua 24:14-29; Resp: Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-8,11; Gospel: Matthew 19:13-15

Listen to the Mass Readings

Joshua and millions of other parents have proclaimed throughout the centuries: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Jos 24:15). When the people responded to Joshua that they too were going to serve the Lord, Joshua questioned whether they could do it. “Joshua in turn said to the people, ‘You may not be able to serve the Lord’ ” (Jos 24:19).

Serving the Lord is humanly impossible because it is much more than service. It is slavery. This is more understandable in the light of the New Testament. Paul taught: “Thanks be to God, though once you were slaves of sin, you sincerely obeyed that rule of teaching which was imparted to you; freed from your sin, you became slaves of justice” (Rm 6:17-18; see also Eph 6:6; Col 3:24 in the Greek). To be a slave of the Lord means to be owned by Him (see 1 Cor 6:19; Gal 2:20). A slave, unlike a servant, has no independence. He cannot quit or make his own decisions. He cannot take time off, go on vacation, or retire. He does not get paid.

The greatest privilege possible for a human being is to be the slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because Jesus became a Slave for love of us (Phil 2:7), decide to accept His grace to be His slave for love of Him. Say with Joshua: “As for me and my household, we will” be owned by the Lord and be His slaves thankfully, joyfully, and forever (Jos 24:15). For Jesus says to His willing slaves: “I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his Master is about. Instead, I call you friends” (Jn 15:15).

PRAYER: Prayer: Father, when others ask me about my joy in being Your slave, may I be ever ready to respond (see 1 Pt 3:15).
PROMISE: Promise: “Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to Me. Do not hinder them.’ ” –Mt 19:14
PRAISE: Praise: St. John Eudes was a French missionary and priest who founded two religious orders. He had a special devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

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