Thus says the Lord:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday. (Is 58:7-10)
Last night, our parish held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. On that evening, we invite all of our parishioners who are doing ministry — visiting the sick and shut-in, singing in our various choirs, working at the soup kitchen, reading at Masses, working in the Garden Club, and a host of other groups — so that we can thank them in the name of the people whose lives they have touched.
Every year, I remind them that they are the face of St. Thomas More. So many times, people praise the priests at their parishes. I always remind them that, without their help, I would never be able to minister to the needs of our parish. After all, we have over 3,500 families, 8,800 individuals. Without the dedication of so many volunteers, the needy would remain in need and without help.
We we volunteer in various ministries, we do, indeed, accomplish the works that are spoken of above: we share bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless, and clothe the naked. We bring the light of Christ to those who are living in the gloom of sadness, need, or despair.
It is a wonderful thing to see people accept the call of Christ to reach out to others.
Many people think that they would never be able to do the work of Christ, that it is too difficult.
However, God has blessed each and every one of us with gifts and talents. When we share what we have received, we give to others.
The sharing does not have to be “earth-shattering” in our estimation.
A simple smile, making time to visit the sick or shut-in, bringing Communion to a couple of people, these are all simple ways that, for those who receive them, might just be earth-shattering for the one who receives.
“Whatever you did for the least among you, you did for me.”
FAITH ACTION: Who can you benefit today by sharing the gifts that God has given to you? Do not wait until tomorrow or next week or next month. Reach out to someone today.