In the gospel for the feast of Christ the King (Matthew 25:31-46) in Year A of the church’s liturgical cycle, Jesus sets out the criteria for getting into heaven and they are about feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty something to drink, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, visiting the sick and those in prison – in short they are about ‘service’. That is why, at the final dismissal at the end of Mass, we are, or used to be, instructed to ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ because, as that gospel tells us, by loving and serving our neighbour, we are loving and serving Jesus himself.
There are many ways in which we can and do express our love and service as followers of Christ in our daily lives, at home with the family, at school or college, at work or through voluntary service or ministry in the parish and the wider community where we live. Our website focuses on groups and organisations in the parish but for most of us, most of the time, ‘serving’ is about how we live our daily lives as living testament and witness to the faith we profess.
“There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; there are many different ways of serving, but it is always the same Lord. There are many different forms of activity, but in everybody it is the same God who is at work in them all.”
“Now Christ’s body is yourselves, each of you with a part to play in the whole.”
From 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12
Every individual, every family, every group, every age, every colour, every ability and disability, everyone in our parish community is bound together by the faith and hope we all share.
We bring to our lives as followers of Christ the gifts that God has blessed us with, to be given in love to those in need.
We all have gifts we can bring – the driver who has space in their car to bring a housebound person to Mass on Sunday, the Mum who checks that a sick neighbour is OK or does a bit of shopping or cleaning for them, the person who befriends someone with a learning difficulty. There are the people with professional skills – teacher, painter, lawyer, electrician, accountant, plumber, web designer, benefits expert – who can use their skills locally for the benefit of those in need. There is the person with time to pray for people’s needs and the person who is able to give financial help in some way.
All of us can and do use the gifts we have been given each day as we live out our calling to follow Jesus. From time to time though, it is good to stop and reflect on whether we are making the best use of our talents to build the kingdom of God here on earth as we strive to love God and our neighbour.
Ask yourself “What am I good at?” We are all good at something – making people laugh, listening – the list begins again.
Whatever your gifts, thank God for them daily. Ask for chances to use them and the courage not to walk by on the other side when things seem difficult.
If, upon reflection, you think of some gift of yours that you would like to offer to the parish, then get in touch!. All information will be treated in confidence.