Fr. Francis Scaria

Smiley faceIn Lk 10:38-42 we read about Jesus’ visit to the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. After receiving Jesus into her house Martha got busy with serving the Lord. Mary, her sister sat at the feet of the Lord listening to him. Martha thought she was doing the right thing and she was getting impatient not only with her sister who did not give her a helping hand, but also with the Lord who did not direct Mary to help her. Martha thought that the Lord would appreciate her effort to take care of him. Instead the Lord told her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her." (Lk 10:41-42)

Martha was, off course, serving the Lord, but in her own terms, as she wanted, according to her own will. On the other hand Mary was serving the Lord as per His will, according to his wish. She did what the Lord wanted. We have our own ways of serving the Lord, but the right way to serve the Lord is the Lord’s way. We need to inquire from the Lord, what exactly he wants us to do and how exactly he wants us to carry that out. When we do what the Lord wants, in the way the Lord wants, it becomes the Lord’s service. Everything that we do for the Lord is not a service to the Lord. It becomes a service to the Lord only when we serve him in the way he wants us to.

We need to serve the Lord in God’s terms. Sometimes it happens with those who have dedicated their lives to the Lord that they slog out in their ministry and get worn out. At the end of the day they feel that they have accomplished great things in the service of the Lord. Yes they have probably accomplished great things in their eyes, not necessarily in the eyes of the Lord.

Very often the Lord wants us to do very simple things and leave the rest to God. Yet we try to play God. We need to believe that God is in control. In the case of the feeding of the five thousand, the Lord did not expect the disciples to procure all the food they required or cook food for the whole crowd. He simply wanted them to identify the local resources and place them in his hands.

The Lord did not expect the Israelites to fight with deadly weapons to destroy the city wall of Jericho. He simply wanted them to march around the city and sound the trumpet trusting in him. He wanted them to realize that he was in command and trust in his goodness.

In 1 Kings 13 we read that God sent a man of God from Judah to Bethel to prophesy against King Jeroboam. The king became furious and “stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, "Lay hold of him." And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself” (1Kgs 13:3-4). The king realizing his sin requested the man of God to pray to the Lord for his healing. At the prayer of the man of God, Jeroboam’s hand was restored. In gratitude, the king invited the man of God to refresh himself at the palace and carry a gift for the favour. But “the man of God said to the king, "If you give me half your house, I will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place; for so was it commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, `You shall neither eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way that you came.'" (1Kgs 13:8-9). Although he refused hospitality of the king, yet on the way at the words of another man of God, he disobeyed the Lord, ate bread in his house, and drank water. As he was still at the table the word of the Lord came to him through the very man of God who tricked him, “Thus says the LORD, `Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD, and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you, but have come back, and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, "Eat no bread, and drink no water"; your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.'" (1Kgs 13:21-22). On the way he was killed by a Lion as the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.

Sometimes what the Lord demands may be a very simple task. We should have the humility to obey him. In 2 Kgs 5, we find Elisha asking Naman, the commander in-chief of the Syrian army to simply dip himself seven times in the river Jordan. Initially, he was hesitant, yet when he did that, he got healed of leprosy.

Thus we have to not only serve the Lord, but we have to also learn to serve the Lord in the way the Lord wants.

MUSINGS : 1-25, 26-50, 51-75

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