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“Where I Am, There Also Will My Servant Be”…

“Where I Am, There Also Will My Servant Be”…

5th Sunday of Lent
By Fr. Victor Feltes

Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” Jesus says, “Where I am, there also will my servant be.” His statement is descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive. He describes what is the case, he prescribes how we should act, and he predicts what will be. His servants can be found where Jesus has been before. They should serve him where Jesus is now on earth. And one day his servants shall be where Jesus is in heaven.

So where has Jesus been? Next Sunday is Palm Sunday when we will remember the way of his sorrowful Passion; how he mentally agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, how he faced religious and secular trials, criticism and mockery, how he carried and painfully endured his Cross. Jesus notes, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” Christ’s glory was made complete through his offering-up of his physical and emotional sufferings; and where he has been, his servant will also be. Jesus says, “No servant is greater than his master,” adding that if people persecuted him, they will persecute us also. St. Peter writes, “Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as if something strange were happening to you. But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice exultantly.” It will not always be an extreme burden, like martyrdom, but each of us has a cross to carry. Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Jesus Christ has been on Calvary. Where is he present on earth today? He is present in his Church, for he says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them.” He is present in his Sacraments, most blessedly in the Eucharist, of which he says, “This is my Body” and “This is…my Blood.” He is present in little ones and the least of his brethren, for Jesus says, “Whoever receives one of these little ones in my name receives me,” and declares, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brethren of mine, you did for me.” Therefore we should not neglect to gather and adore him in his Church, to approach and honor him in his Sacraments, and to love and help him in the small and vulnerable. The servants of Jesus should serve him where he is.

Where else is Christ now, following his Ascension? Jesus declared during his religious trial before the high priest, “From now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So St. Paul urges us to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” More than a mere description of Christian life, more than just a call to serve him, Jesus’ words contain a promise of heaven. The Letter to the Hebrews calls Jesus Christ “the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” And Jesus says, “Where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Jesus Christ is present at Calvary, in his Church and in his Sacraments, with the lowly on earth and with the saints in heaven. Remember this, for Jesus says, “Where I am, there also will my servant be.”

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Peace : a lesson from greek mythology.