Good and Faithful Servant

History is full of unfaithful servants, full of power-hungry tyrants who clawed their way to the top (or died trying).  They’re a brutal bunch, a sad lot, always at odds with like-minded servants who are trying to accomplish the same hostile takeover.  The sheep suffer.  There is no peace.

But what nobility we see in holy submission!  What dignity!  What peace…

I got a good look at that today in Genesis 24.  Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, had been in line for a sizable inheritance while Abraham was childless (Genesis 15: 2-3).  Yet here he is, humble, obedient, devout (circumcised!, see Genesis 17:23 ), undertaking an arduous journey to establish the heir in an honorable marriage.  There’s no sign of jealousy or of a desire to “get back at” the one who now has the right to what Eliezer might have dreamed of possessing.  He serves his master faithfully and well, seeking the best for him, putting himself out to procure it, counting on God. No wonder Abraham made him the head of his household!

It struck me…Jesus had an “Eliezer” too.  “Then Peter said, ‘Lord, is this parable [of faithful servants awaiting their master’s return from a wedding!] meant for us or for everyone?  And the Lord replied, ‘Who, then is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute food at the proper time?  Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.  Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.'” (Luke 12:41-44).

This is the same Peter to whom Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.  And whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven: and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven” (Matthew 16:18) and “Feed My lambs…Tend My sheep…Feed My sheep” (John 21:15, 16, 17).  Saint Peter is that faithful servant, set in charge of God’s household to give us our food at the proper time, procuring a bride (the Church) for Christ!

Only in God’s hands are the reins of power properly held.  The ruler (like St. Peter) then follows Him, and the sheep can profitably follow the ruler.  This, too, is the Holy Spirit’s order.

Lord, may I be as humble, devout, poised and faithful as these holy servants!

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