"If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if anyone serves me, the Father will honour him" (John 12, 26).
JESUS, you will remember, in speaking of his death, makes a well-known comparison: as the grain of wheat bears much fruit only if it dies, so it will be with him. Indeed he also added that he who loves his own life will lose it, and he who loses it will save it for eternal life.
It is at this point that he adds: "If anyone serves me. he must follow me, and where I am, there shall my servant he also; if anyone serves me. the Father will honour him." With these words Jesus invites those who wish to serve him to follow him on his road. "If anyone ..." Jesus says.
To whom then does it apply? It is clear: not to any single category of person but to anyone to everyone. His words are directed at every believer, and therefore to me, and to you. His destiny, which is that of glorification through death. is the destiny of his disciples, it is my destiny and yours. The way of Jesus is the road on which men must set out so as to reach their full realisation, the fulfilment of their vocation.
"If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there shall my servant be also: if anyone serves me. the Father will honour him."
"My servant". This word 'servant' svhich Jesus uses explains the reality of each Christian, which is to be the envoy of Christ in the world, his collaborator, his minister.
In order to be a true 'servant' of christ a Christian must set out on a way, the way of Jesus. It is the way of love. It could demand of him one day even his life out of love for his brothers, as it did for Jesus. ,
Certainly each day it will demand of him to die to himself. One cannot in fact love others truly without denying and mortifying oneself.
This was the love practised by the first believers, their way of dying and rising, and by this love they were recognised as the servants of Jesus, his disciples.
Certainly his words are known to you: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another".
"If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I atn. there shall my servant be also: i f anyone serves me, the Father will honour him."
If we follow Jesus our destination will be the very same as his: Paradise and the honour of the Father, which will consist of sharing the glory that Jesus receives from him. It is a promise similar to 0)6 one Jesus makes to the Apostles in his farewell discourse, when he says that he goes to prepare a place for them and that afterwards he will come back to take them so that they would be with him.
"If anyone serves me, he must follow me: and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if anyone serves me. the Father will honour him."
How then shall we live this word?
The promise of Jesus is so great, the future so bright and immense, that we must not doubt for a moment but set out on the way indicated by Jesus.
Let us place ourselves before every brother that we meet during the day in the attitude of being ready to die for him. Every sacrifice then will be spontaneous, and death to ourselves and our selfishness will come of itself.
In that way we will be his servants and disciples, looking forward to Heaven that awaits us and a destiny in communion with him.
And there is more to it than that. If more than one of us behaves in this way, love will be mutual and will produce an extraordinary effect: Christ will not wait until the next life to share his company with us.
He will be, already now, among us, because he has said: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them".
And our joy will be full, beginning in this world. The stakes are too high to let this escape us.
In conclusion then, let's be courageous.