The need for affirmation – Sunday’s reading reflection


In the area of discipleship, “Christian disciples can make no claim on God’s graciousness; in fulfilling the exacting demands of discipleship, they are only doing their duty.” (NABRE) In the area of faith, as human beings, we want “affection”, that is getting the job done well, and “affection” a little praise or thanks. Our basic human and Christian struggle seems to be about present-time versus eternal-then. We are all in the family of God and we listen to what is “commanded”. Fr. Alexander of our staff is fond of saying, “Jesus is grateful.” Though that can bring a smile to my face, I do wish Jesus would congratulate, praise, or thank me in person, especially when I feel like Habakkuk. We are all believers in the promises, the “eternal then” and we wait and keep washing windows, mowing lawns, plowing and tending the flocks in our care. Our faithfulness to our doing such things is our service for our Master and our pledge of trust in the life to come.

I am sure that God is grateful, but if God were to send me a thank-you card each time I did something good, I think I would end up serving myself and not God.  And that wouldn’t be such a good thing. Jesus himself said that he did not come to be served but to serve.

(Adapted from Larry Gillick, S.J.)