What Do You Mean I'm Useless?
Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Scriptural Readings: Wisdom 2:23-3:9; Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19; Luke 17:7-10
My dear encountered couples:
We want to be appreciated, don’t we? Who likes to spend all his time and energy doing for others, not getting any praise or credit for it? We like to be recognized for the good we do. We like to hear we did well. Jesus is more or less telling us to forget it. “When you have done all you have been commanded to do, say, ‘We are useless servants. We have done no more than our duty.’”
This is another of those shocking statements of Jesus. He’s trying to get across an important point. We sure don’t think of ourselves as useless, at least we hope we aren’t. We all want to feel we are an addition to the world and that at least one person will miss us when we’re gone. No, Jesus does not really mean we are useless. Yet, from one viewpoint we could be considered such.
God does not need us. He can do everything himself. But because of his goodness he has shared his abilities with us, so we can join in and help him with his work. And he has asked us to help him. We are sort of like children who want to help their fathers with the yard work. Though they might be more hindrance than help, daddy finds them something to do and asks them to do it. He knows little Johnny needs to feel useful, that he needs to learn and grow. God our Father is like that with us.
Mother lets Janie help her cook the dinner. Again, is it help or hindrance? Makes no difference. It is a great gift to Janie and a joy to mommy. It is like that with God our Mother and us.
God has willed that he needs us to help him with his work in the world. If we don’t do certain things, they are not going to get done. We are important, we are useful. But let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Let us, rather, be glad, and consider it reward enough that God includes us in his yard work and cooking.