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Servants of Jesus Christ

The Christian is not only a steward of God’s gifts; he is also a servant of Christ. A good Christian, must be a good steward and also a good servant of Christ. In fact, a bad steward cannot be a good servant of the Lord. The concept of servant has shades that are proper and of great interest both in theory as well in practice that we have to consider, as much as to become servants of Christ, as to retain this privileged position. We could say that to live under the Lordship of Christ means to be servants of Christ.

·         There is no higher honor than to be servant of Christ. To be servant of Christ is a true privilege that is not comparable with the work and service that a king, a head of government or any other position of highest authority on the earth can hold and discharge. The servant of Christ serves one who is no more, no less than the King of kings and the Lord of lords. There is no service comparable to this. Any service on earth, inclusive the one discharged by a king or a head of government, can be done in Christ, for Christ and with Christ; but to be a servant of Christ transcends the natural and is placed in a supernatural level and so is higher. Does the idea of serving Christ gives us less satisfaction and joy than of being called by a king or by a head of government of our country to work for him?

·         Chosen by the Lord. Although some may think the opposite, the initiative and the election to the service of Christ, come from the Lord himself: “You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16).

·         Conscience and heart of servants. It is an eye opener that Saint Paul introduces himself to those to whom his Letters are addressed, as in case of the one to the Philippians, as servant of Christ. In the same way, in the Letter to the Romans, Paul begins it saying: “Paul, a servant of Christ” (Rom 1:1). This means to be conscious of the call of the Lord and of the dignity of this vocation, as well a sign that Paul was dependent of the will of the Lord from a position of humility. It should be clear that it was not because he introduced himself as servant of Christ, that Paul had acquired this condition of servant; but his life shows that Paul self-introduction as servant of Christ was in conformity with the truth.

On the contrary, the disciples of Jesus, at least at that time, were not showing any conscience or heart of servants when discussing among themselves who was the greatest: “An argument also began between them about who should be reckoned the greatest; but he said to them, ‘Among the gentiles it is the kings who lord over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor. With you this must not happen. No; the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves. For who is the greater: the one at the table or the one who serves? The one at the table, surely? Yet here am I among you as one who serves!” (Lk 22:24-27).

·         The servant is under the authority of his Master and serves him according to the directions given to him. This was understood by the Roman Centurion, of whom the Gospel speaks to us, although he had not encountered the Lord: “Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man, “Go,” and he goes; to another, “Come here,” and he comes; to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it” (Mt 8:8-9).

·         The servant of Christ, serves in a Body, not in an isolated way. The Church, a Christian Community, is the place where such servant exercises his work. In the community the work of each member complements and intertwines, building a truly spiritual building.

·         Jesus Christ, the perfect Servant. If we want to learn what Christian Service consists of, and what it means to serve, we have to resort to our model in all. Imitation of Christ, the Servant of Yahweh, should be always our deep desire. Our Lord lived as Servant of the servants. He is called the Servant of Yahweh. Of him it is written: Look! My servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul delights, I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will present judgment to the nations; he will not brawl or cry out, his voice is not heard on the streets, he will not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick, until he has made his judgment victorious; in him the nations will put their hope” (Mt 12:18-21).

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