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Who in their right mind would want to celebrate being a servant? I took me a long time to realize that I would be the happiest in my life when I was, in fact, serving.

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Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Here are two close followers of Jesus.

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A waiter or waitress OK. A nurse, sure. It sets the trend for the entire New Testament.

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I will anoint him with my Spirit and he will proclaim justice to the nations. But he will not quarrel or cry out. The servant stuff is not just for Jesus and His Mum. Lk For whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. The servant language caught on in the early Church. Though they insisted that amongst Christians there should be no distinction between slave and free 1Cor ; Gal ; ; Col ; Eph ; Philemthe apostles called Israel, the prophets and themselves servants or slaves.

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Paul describes himself as a servant many times in his letters 1Cor ; Rom ; ; ; Col ; ; Eph ; Phil ; 1Tim Servant talk is New Testament talk. Are Christians just weak, slaves, doormats — as the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche claimed? Are they 1 masochists, enjoying being walked all over by others? Or is all the humility stuff a bit of a game, a new form of one-upmanship? Or is there something more profound going on here?

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Mary was the most important woman in history: all of history is either BC and AD, before or after that hinge-moment when she answered God. Pope Francis likes to use her title as Untier of Knots — the great problem solver. Jesus also, though servant of God and of the servants of God, was in fact also Son of God. So, for Jesus and Mary, at least, being a servant was no put-down. Paul could be a bit of a bragger and would insist on people recognizing his place as an Apostle.

I am the lord’s servant

Paul was someone who served by leading, and he rightly saw no contradiction in this. So if being a servant, as Christians understand it, is not about being a nobody or a dogsbody, but being a godly somebody, is it really a device for big-noting ourselves, humility for the sake of drawing attention? The other disciples were indignant.

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Well, it must not be so among you. No, whoever wants to be the leader among you must be the servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

But one year is different: a girl called Katniss Everdeen volunteers to enter the Games in place of her younger sister who had been chosen. From that moment she becomes a symbol of hope for the poor and oppressed.

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In a world of violence and self-interest, of survival of the fittest, such an act of selflessness and care is subversive. The authorities fear it as an act of rebellion. But if her self-sacrifice makes her in some ways a Christ-like figure, her servanthood echoes that of Mary.

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Try as she may to hide her Catholic petticoat, the servant Suzanne Collins has a very Catholic view of these things! Let me explore the Marian dimension of this story a little further. Katniss is no doormat: like Mary she is a determined young woman, she has her own mind on things, and she asks questions when she has them.

She is a strong servant-leader like Christ and Paul. Had the government chosen Katniss instead of her sister to compete in the games, she might still have been defiant, but her defiance would you been that of someone with no options.

I am your servant lord

But You volunteered for the games in place of her sister: it was her choice. He tells her what He has in mind and leaves her to consent or not. Or He could have taken human form without involving her or anyone. This speaks to a second dimension of Christian servanthood. Political power imposes; Christian authority proposes. Imitating 2 God, Christians exhort, cajole, seek to persuade others to enter into friendship, redemption, eternity: but we know that true faith, like true friendship, cannot be forced and we must never try to impose our beliefs on anyone.

Christian servanthood, like marriage, is freely chosen or it is servant. Indeed, throughout the second and third novels she tries to keep out of politics, hard as that proves, and to resist becoming a mascot for the revolution.

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Remind you of anything? And that is paradigmatic of how we all should relate to God and our fellows. Christian servanthood is not just other-regarding: it is otherloving.

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Likewise, if Mary had said YES out of fear of God or of going to hell, but with gritted teeth, this too might be understandable: but it would not be the kind of servanthood she came to represent. A fourth aspect of Christian service is that it is active. It is not just a theory or a preference or even a character trait: it is a way of acting, a way of life. Servants serve; if they serve well they are good servants.

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The great civil right leader Rev. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. So to say YES to being a servant of the Lord is freely to say YES to something mundane yet important, to a kind of service-withauthority, to do this out of selflessness and love rather than selfinterest and fear, and to do it actively. Finally, we might notice that such Christian service perseveres.

St Thomas Aquinas taught that perseverance is the virtue that disposes a person to hold steadily to the good.

Katniss Everdeen never gives up. We can guess the stage-fright she felt inside, the uncertainty about where this would take her, the dread of her own likely death. She will grieve also many lives lost through the revolution she sets in motion unawares.

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But her step is bold and constant. She stays the course. When she saw her Son betrayed, mocked, whipped, and ultimately crucified, her pain must have been intense.

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Yet she stood firm, by the cross, even when the men had fled the scene. And so, as the founder of World Youth Day, St. In the Gospel of Matthew — one of the few books to outsell even The Hunger Games — Herod had a similar fear and set about trying to kill the Baby, the Idea, the imagined Rival than was Jesus. But why would a President Snow or King Herod — a powerful, experienced, man of the world, with complete power over an entire country — fear a teenaged girl and the hope she generates?

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Let us say the same ourselves and bring on the Christian revolution! See details Live Masses. Addresses and Statements. Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism.

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Personal Testimonies Who is Jesus Christ?