The Divine Waiter

The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve. (Matthew 20:28)

A good waiter loses himself in attending to the pleasure of the one he serves. The waiter watches; he anticipates. The skillful waiter attunes himself to his business so deftly that he himself vanishes. He produces results like an invisible man. Glasses don’t go empty; they get filled without anyone noticing. Time to eat? The food sits in front of you. When everyone’s finished, the plates are gone. Crumbs on the table vanish.

The Son of Man came not to sit at table and feast, with His servants waiting on Him. He came to be the waiter. He came to wait at our table.

Christ revealed the truth about God. The Almighty operates like the ultimate invisible waiter. Air to breathe? Sun in the sky? Roof over your head? He keeps the glasses full, and we don’t even see Him. Need a friend? An open door? He takes care of it.

None of this—the cosmos: the sky, the mountains, food, created beauty—none of it is an implement of service for Him. He had perfect happiness before there even was an earth. He offers us everything, without any thought of gaining anything for Himself. He already had it all. All of this is Him serving us.

And how did He reveal this invisible truth? The Creator came as a man to do not His own will, but the will of the One Who sent Him. The Son came not to luxuriate, but to suffer. He came not for His own benefit, but for ours.

Where did the Son of God, the manservant of the human race—where did He find His peace? “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am straitened until it is accomplished.” He found peace only on the Cross. He found peace only in offering Himself for us, in fulfillment of the Father’s plan for the reconciliation of His wayward children.

Now, we could never presume to imitate all of Almighty God’s consummate table-waiting skills. He waits on us better than we could ever wait on anyone else.

But we can take a cue from what He says and from how He does things. And, if we want to be of service as apostles of the Son of Man, trained and sent to serve our brothers and sisters in the world—if we want this, we can learn something from what a serving man is called.

A waiter. If we would serve well, we need first of all to have enough patience to stand and wait. We watch carefully, so as to see clearly what the brother or sister needs. Then we can take care of it quietly, invisibly.

Want a Seat? Stand. (Also, turn on the tv)

Most exciting sporting day of the year, my friends.

Why do you tarry here? You should be watching ESPN.

(I do not approve of playing hooky for the ridiculous NCAA tournament. But for the Big East tournament? Um…)

…I don’t see how we can find fault with Mrs. Zebedee. When the Lord originally summoned her sons to go with Him, she let them go. They left home, and no one knew if they would ever come back again.

When the mother came to Christ, she approached Him with admirable faith. She acknowledged that He would reign one day as king.

What loving mother doesn’t want her children to succeed? What Christian mother doesn’t want her children to succeed in getting to heaven? May they reign with You, O Christ. May they be close to You, closer than anyone else.

What mother doesn’t go to the Lord every day and make this very request for her beloved children?

What kind of priest would I be if I didn’t pray every day that all of you would be on Christ’s right hand in the kingdom of heaven—with all my dear parishioners who don’t know how to turn on a computer on His left hand?

But the Lord laid down a condition. Be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized. Drink the chalice I must drink. Submit to the will of the Father. You want to get to heaven? Don’t worry about where you will sit when you get there. You will sit where the Father wants you to sit.

Don’t worry about when or where you will sit at all. Worry about where the people who spend all day on their feet will sit. Offer your favorite chair. Stand up and wait on someone who spends the day waiting on other people.

Just stand up and take care of everyone in sight. The Father will let you know when to sit down.