During my senior year of college, we sang “The Servant Song” at every Thursday 5:05pm Mass. So it was very special to me when we sang it at one of the first weekday Masses I attended at my workplace, Saint Martin de Porres High School.
At the end of the service, we offered intentions. I prayed for my seniors, who had received their ACT scores that morning. Many students were disappointed with their scores, and the senior hallway became a somber place. My heart broke for them. Even if their scores would get them into college (which wasn’t true for a good number), very few of the scores would ensure our students financial aid, which they desperately need in order to attend even a public university. We gave out a lot of candy and comforting words that day in the College Counseling office.
When we ended our prayer, holding these seniors in our hearts, we returned to “The Servant Song” to close our service. The first verse we sang went, “I will weep when you are weeping/When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you/I will share your joy and sorrow/Till we see this journey through” Chills ran down my arms as I realized: this is why I love my job. This is why I do what I do. I’m able to mourn with my students when their ACT score is a 14. I’m able to rejoice with them when their score is a 24. I comfort them as they struggle to bring their grades up. I hug them and cheer for them when their dream school accepts them. I will offer chocolate and a shoulder when they realize they can’t afford their dream school.
For whatever undeserved reason, these students have chosen to let me into their lives. They allow me to share in their experiences, and I am so grateful. They don’t have to let me share in their journeys. But they do. I get to weep with them and laugh with them. That is the joy of the servant song.