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In haste to serve

That heartwarming story of Mary immediately going to see her cousin Elizabeth once she knew the cousin was already with child, teaches us a very precious lesson about the beauty of serving and avoiding any trace of entitlement and privilege despite a great blessing and honor given to her. (cfr. Lk 1,39-45)

In that gospel episode, it is mentioned that Mary went “in haste”. She just learned that she was going to be the mother of the Son of God, the highest dignity any human person could have, but that knowledge did not go into her head. Instead, she rushed to visit her cousin to help her in her difficult condition since Elizabeth was already old and it would be her first time to bear a child.

It is an example worth emulating by everyone, for it is clearly what is proper to us. A truly good person, a holy one so close and identified with God, would be quick to serve everybody else, because that is simply the expression of love. Love is always a matter of deeds and service, and not just sweet words and good intentions.

This eagerness to serve would really identify us with Christ who is our “way, truth and life”. He being God became man to save us, the greatest service anyone can do. And all throughout his earthly life, serving was the constant rule that he followed. He was always at the beck and call of anyone who had need of something.

Definitely, to be able to serve, one has to be humble. And that’s what we see in our Lady, and of course, in Christ, first of all.

Pride and all its allies would always extinguish any desire to serve others. They only are interested in serving their own selves.

We need to humble ourselves so that we can serve everyone, and not just those whom we like. We have to serve even those whom we do not like and who may not like us. If we are truly humble, our spirit of service would not make any discrimination among the people. We would serve everyone, whether they deserve to be served or not.

A Christian and Marian spirit of service would neither give rise in us to a certain sense of entitlement and privilege because of whatever claim of authority or superiority we may have over others.

Let us remember that Christ himself emptied himself completely up to offering his life on the cross to serve the salvation of mankind. He never felt entitled by the mere fact that he is the Son of God, and God himself. (cfr. Phil 2,7) He never went about his mission with an overbearing presence. He knew how to hide and disappear while fulfilling his most important mission on earth.

The same with Mary, St. Joseph, and all the saints. Their interest was purely to serve and doing it gratuitously, not counting the cost or expecting any reward. They did it with joy in spite of the sacrifices involved.

Let us learn to serve God and everybody else with all our heart. This way, we would effectively become more and more identified with Christ who is the pattern of our humanity. It is also this way that we can find our true joy, and our true self!*

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