The Book of Wisdom 3, 4-6
Something to read
For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt-offering he accepted them.
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
A street sweeper complained that in all his years of keeping communities clean, not once did he receive any words of thanks.
A home guard who patrolled the streets keeping them safe, remained unrecognised for his service.
Both men described their work as a 'thankless job'. It is natural for us to expect some kind of recognition or affirmation for the work we do, but in the end we are no more than servants and have only done our duty.
To be a servant therefore is to be generous, offering oneself without expecting anything in return. Our daily experiences need not always result in praise. Jesus gave himself to the world, but he was not recognised by the world.
This can be a testing time but the ultimate result will be our reward in heaven. Until then we are called to go through a period of self-evaluation. Like gold in the furnace this can also be a period of purification, before we are found worthy.
In our sacrificial servanthood we are received as worthy of God’s loving reward in the way Jesus was glorified.
Something to do
Consciously look for opportunities of sharing your life sacrificially with those in need.
Something to pray
Pray that God may empower you to lead a sacrificial life of sharing and grant you strength to be a just voice for the voiceless in an unjust world.
Today’s contributor is Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe, a former Bishop of the Kurunagala Diocese in the Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka.