Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Living for Others

In Acts 4: 32-37, we are told how the first believers were "of one heart and mind."  That is the goal of persons who take their marriage vows and/or religious vows seriously. Like the first believers,  many married men and women "claim" nothing as their own, "but....[hold]  everything in common...."   to be used to support one's family: clothe them, feed them, educate them. The same is true of members of religious communities. We vowed to live poorly. Whatever we use belongs to the religious community and is not personal property.   Our salaries are pooled together for the sake of serving others in ministry and used also to support our sick and infirm members--for many religious communities in this 21st century the number of sick and infirm members outnumber those in active ministries bringing in a salary.

Many of us use our small monthly stipend in ways that also benefit the poor in some way, giving monies to our missions where desperate families are served. Some of us also contribute to local food shelters, homeless shelters, and/or parish programs that provide faith formation to our young people.

As Christians, we are called to be aware of and help the needy in whatever ways we can! Jesus set His earthly ministry doing just that: reaching out to those in need of assistance! Jesus continues doing so to this very day and calls us to live the Gospel-way of life as well! As St. Francis says to his followers,  "Preach the Gospel and use words only if necessary."

 At the end of every day, each of us needs to ask the questions:  How did I preach the Gospel today? In what ways did I reach out to those in need--those  with whom I live--members of my immediate family/religious community--those whom I serve in my ministry/place of employment as well as those beyond my family/religious community?

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