Joy in Serving Others
Reflection from Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler
Reflection by Charles & Kaitlin
Every day, we are called to live like Jesus. Each day offers us, through its challenges, successes, failures, ups, and downs, many opportunities to grow closer to the Lord and become more and more like Him. As Fr. Jeremy notes in the video, in the gospels, we see who Jesus is and what he does. His ministry is centered on serving others and giving of Himself. We learn that we can imitate Jesus by serving those around us, and that this will bring us great joy and deep fulfillment.
The desire for joy and fulfillment is a universal one. However, the path Jesus shows is often in contrast to what society says, and Jesus’ example may even seem counter-intuitive: how is it that I find deep joy and fulfillment by giving to others? Today’s society is focused on ME, and what I can do and get for myself. Fr. Jeremy reflects that the gifts the Lord has given us are not meant to be used solely for our own good, but instead, to serve others in their needs. We can each serve in different ways based on our personalities, interests, and gifts—namely, as the unique person God created us to be.
The current social distancing is affecting our lives in every way, including in the way we serve others; we now must view this crucial aspect of our mission as Christians through a different lens. Some of us with essential jobs—factory workers, store clerks, those in the transportation and healthcare industries, and more—are still doing the same tasks, but perhaps with different meaning; the millions of people working from and staying home are now relying on them in a different way. We may be at home alone and wonder how we can continue finding joy in service and finding joy in this desert. We may now have increased family responsibilities with changed school and work schedules. Serving your coworkers during the day may have changed to serving your friends or your spouse during this time. Jesus shows us, through his life and the example of his servants, the saints, that service can take myriad forms. This uncertain, changing time can be a beautiful time to grow and adapt as God is calling us, in our own way. John Henry Cardinal Newman’s words ring true: “God has created me to do some special service; God has committed some work to me which has not been committed to another. I have a mission.”
A few questions to ponder in your mind, in your prayer or in your journal.
In what ways do I try to imitate Jesus? Are there aspects of my life more influenced by society’s ideals than the gospel?
What gifts has God given me? In what ways do I use those gifts to serve others? How is God calling me to use my gifts today?
Fr. Jeremy encourages us to open our eyes: Are there unmet needs around me? Am I able to fill those needs? Do I know someone who could?
Like Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, do I serve selflessly, without counting the cost? Or do I hold back when serving others?
A Song for your Soul
Lay Down My Life
A Friend to Walk With
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frasatti
God, our Help and our Strength,
You are Living Water in this desert. Help us to grow.
You have given us the mission of each other, open our eyes and ears to know the needs of our neighbors and to respond with compassion.
We are Your hands and feet.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frasatti, pray for us.