For many of us- and I include myself- the first thing we do in the morning is reach for the snooze bar on the alarm clock! However, I know of some who make it a practice to immediately rise from bed, kneel on the floor, and pray the word “Serviam,” Latin for “I will serve.”
This single word, “Serviam,” reminds those who pray it that our Christian vocation- our purpose in life- is to serve God, serve the Church, and serve our fellow human beings. Our Lord stressed this very point in today’s gospel: If we wish to follow him we must deny ourselves; we are to lose our lives for his sake and that of the gospel. To put it another way, Christianity is more about what we can do for Jesus, than it is about what Jesus can do for us. The Christian life is one not of selfishness, but surrender; not of self-fulfillment, but of self-sacrifice; not of self-service, but of service to the Lord.
So perhaps the prayer in our heart today might be “Serviam,” as we, in the words of the Mass dismissal, “Go forth to love and serve the Lord.”
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/021811.shtml