In today’s world slave and master are historical concepts or a non-existing state of humans. In the Gospel, Jesus takes a day-to-day state of life and puts in new meaning and understanding to the common people of His time.
What is expected of a slave is to serve the master and what is expected of a master is to give orders The master wasn’t there to serve the slave. Christ’s teaching here is profound. While it appears cold and callous on the outside, it drives home a deeper message that centers around our elevation of self over God. In its most simplistic form, Christ is teaching us a simple and pure attitude. The master does something extraordinary and we in turn do the same.
Even though I live two thousand years after Christ’s physical presence in this world. I find myself living the life of a slave. Waiting for orders, doing and fulfilling obligations, and accomplishing my duties. My flesh feeds upon recognition and acknowledgment while my soul fights to humble itself by not seeking praise.
Yet while I am thankful that God has revealed my superficial desires for acknowledgment, affirmation, and recognition concerning my labor and efforts throughout my life, I am convinced Jesus is not merely addressing a surface-level understanding. Rather, He is exposing how misunderstood our relationship with the Father has become because of our prideful arrogance and independence.
Father, forgive me for presuming upon my relationship with you as if you owed me as a slave. I’ve done that, I know. Help me to better understand my appropriate role as your friend, so that when you graciously grant me your friendship, I might truly appreciate your love.
Sony Marsilin Kannanaikal CP is a Passionist priest, he lives at St.Joseph’s Community, Hobart.