Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekly Reflection on Serving Others

The homily I heard this Sunday at Church has had me thinking the past few days about God's plan for my life versus what I might plan for my life. Are the two the same? Are they not? If not, what needs to change on my part? How do I discern God's plan for my life? The Reflection Question brings a whole different set of thoughts.

Here's a link to Readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Question: How do I answer Jesus' call to serve others?

The Christian imperative to serve others is expressed beautifully in one of the great documents of Vatican II, Apostolicam Actuositatem (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity), which urges laypeople to "take up the renewal" of the world "as their own special obligation" (section 7, paragraph 5). In the modern era, "charitable activities and works have become more urgent and universal. These charitable enterprises can and should reach out to all persons and all needs. Wherever there are people in need of food and drink, clothing, housing, medicine, employment, education; wherever men lack the facilities necessary for living a truly human life or are afflicted with serious distress or illness or suffer exile or imprisonment, here Christian charity should seek them out and find them, console them with great solicitude and help them with appropriate relief. This obligation is imposed above all upon every prosperous nation and person" (section 8, paragraph 4).

The question this week is a good one. One thing I have learned over the last few years, and especially over the last few months, is that our prayer life and study of the Word and the faith should lead us toward service, or as it says in James 2:26 "faith without works is dead."

So to answer the question, how do I serve others?? I make an effort to support certain charities financially which I believe have similar values as I do. We give to Catholic Relief Services, the Seminarian fund, and various other Catholic-based charities. Beyond financial giving, I try to be of service to my Church through various ministries or to other groups. One of the most important is volunteering as a regular adorer for the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.

Lately I have been feeling that I am not doing enough service. This goes back a bit to my pondering on what God's plan for my life is. This has been on my mind a lot this entire year, but it reallly came to the forefront the last two weeks. So what am I doing about it??

I prayed about it. I don't know if I really got a clear "answer" from God, but I am feeling a tug toward a particular ministry. So I turned in my "Time and Talent" survey this Sunday and I checked a new ministry. This is one that I've never done before and never thought I would volunteer for. But I did. Now I am just waiting until the person in charge of that ministry contacts me. In the meantime, I'm going to continue praying and waiting.

And now it's your turn!! How do you answer Jesus' call to serve others? I look forward to everyone's answers!

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