It seems to me that our culture is obsessed with praise. Of course there is all the hero worship of our adult media and sports stars. But even very young children seem to have praise heaped upon them — elaborate birthday parties they won’t even remember, pictures of their precocious selves on Facebook. By contrast our Gospel gives us an example of a master with slaves, slaves who are expected to do as the master orders, without any special reward or thanks, because that is their “obligation” as slaves. That sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Consider that in our journey to holiness we need to be conscious of how we all humanly yearn to be rewarded — by words of thanks and praise, by being thought well of in some way by others. Our motives for “being good” are seldom pure! This seemingly harsh Gospel invites us to look at whether we can serve the Lord humbly, acknowledging that I am only a creature and the Lord is directing my life. Can I find joy in serving in a quiet and unassuming way that does not invite thanks and praise? Or do I need that gold star after all?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia