Jesus commands men to zealously and humbly do their duty with no expectation of reward. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Duty so he can fulfill his sacred duties as a spiritual father and by pursuing the Virtue of Humility so he can strive to be a humble slave of the Lord Jesus Christ.
32nd Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 17:7-10
After warning of the destruction of those who cause a little one to sin and commanding unlimited forgiveness to repentant sinners, the Apostles beg Christ to “Increase our faith!” The Apostles realize Christ’s extremely high demands of holiness exceed their faith; even Jesus’ chosen men fear His stunning demands and wrath (to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around the neck; Lk 17:2). In response, Jesus exhorts the Apostles to seek faith, for even small faith (as small as a mustard seed) can achieve impossible supernatural things (with a simple word, to uproot, move, and plant a giant tree in the sea). Jesus promises He will ensure the Apostles can keep His impossible demands, if they will start with a small faith in Him.
Jesus now reveals that embracing one’s duty with humility is an essential discipline for the ascent to sainthood, and urges His disciples to literally consider themselves “slaves.” Some translations mistakenly use the word, “servant”, a mis-translation of the Greek, doulos, but Jesus deliberately uses the word “slave” (not servant), perhaps for several reasons: a servant has the ability to leave his employer, but Christ’s disciples have been “purchased” with His Blood; a master takes on complete responsibility for his slaves, as Christ is completely committed to His disciples; the most faithful slaves have the highest levels of humility so they can humbly and completely be obedient to every word of their masters.
Jesus sends out His Apostles/disciples (slaves) out into the world (field) to do His work (plowing, shepherding) of evangelization and serving the poor. He tells the Apostles/disciples (slaves) it is absurd for Jesus’ men to expect reward for doing what He commands (to expect the Master to serve the slaves). Jesus expects each disciple to unconditionally accept and act on His commands and to simply and humbly do their “duty” (Greek: opheiló, meaning “to owe”).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Humbly consider the expectations that Jesus, the Lord, has for His disciples: Jesus, Divine King, Commands (as opposed to “ask” or “suggest”) His men to both think and act in specific ways; the perfection of Obedience (a part of Justice) to the Father, Jesus demands absolute obedience of His disciples, calling them to have the mindset of a slave; the perfection of Sacrifice (a part of Justice), Jesus commands His disciples to selflessly sacrifice to do their duty and to expect no reward or recognition.
Fulfill the duties of spiritual fatherhood
Realize: Jesus exhorts every Catholic man to humbly sacrifice and simply do his duty, without expectation of reward.
Believe: Reflect upon Catholic Manhood and Fatherhood and your Duty (CCC 1418, 1932, 2043, 2087, 2104-2105, 2152, 2218, 2252, 2265, 2427, 2472).
Pray: Jesus, Son of Joseph, help me build the Virtue of Duty/Responsibility (a part of Justice) so I commit to be a spiritual father, I strive to fulfill the duties of spiritual fatherhood, and I lead my family and many others to You and Your Holy Catholic Church.
Be a humble slave of the Lord Jesus Christ
Realize: By taking on the limits of the flesh in the Incarnation, Jesus demonstrates Divine Humility; here, Jesus calls men to embrace the humility of a lowly slave.
Believe: Reflect upon Humility (CCC 299, 1450, 2219, 2540, 2546, 2554, 2559, 2631, 2713, 2753, 2779).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Humility, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I lay down my life to be Your slave, I actively battle against the Vice of Pride, and I unconditionally seek to humbly serve You, my Lord and Master.