Lord Jesus, in spite of my many failures, I know you continue
to call me. Your Spirit continues to guide me. I trust in you, love you and praise you for all your
gifts to me. Amen.
Lord Jesus, grant me a renewed sensitivity to the
deepest needs of others.
1. Called to Serve:
In an era of Catholicism in which
catch-phrases such as "called to serve" have been overused to the point of becoming clichés, we risk
forgetting how central service is to the Christian life. The minutes of our lives are consumed in an
incessant cascade of apparently important and urgent things to do. Doesn't it happen, however, that
in the midst of all this we actually miss any number of opportunities to serve? Called to serve,
yes, but we miss the call! And our service gets sidelined. If service to my brothers and sisters is
not an ordinary element of my daily life as a Christian, I can be sure that I have succumbed to
self-deception or taken a critically wrong turn somewhere.
2. A Continuation of
We are called to give ourselves unreservedly to others as a continuation of Christ.
"A continuation of Christ": now, wouldn't that make a wonderful epitaph?! For truly, if our
Christian service is not a prolongation, an extension of Jesus' love, if we are not giving him to
others, if those whom we serve are not discovering him in us, then our service is simply not
service. It might be philanthropy, it might be empathy, but it falls short of genuine Christian
service if those whom we serve do not discover Christ in us. Like John the Baptist, we must become
less so that Jesus can become more in us, so that our brothers and sisters are not cheated out of
encountering that Christ whom they secretly long to discover in each of us.
Here it will be helpful simply to examine ourselves on some of the essentials
of Christian service. Is my daily life characterized by a concern for the genuine good of others and
by a readiness to do all the good I can for my brothers and sisters? Do I actually engage in daily
acts of service, whether big or small? Do I examine myself frequently on the sin of omission? Do I
strive, in carrying on the ordinary service required by my state in life, to do so with
extraordinary deliberateness and full, conscious self-giving?
Father, you call me to serve, and I know that service also means suffering at times.
If suffering is to be a part of your plan for me, give me the grace to collaborate with Christ your
son in the salvation of souls by offering that suffering generously to you. I ask this in the name
of Jesus. Amen.
Out of love for Christ, present in the least of my
brothers and sisters, I will examine myself on what genuine Christian service means to me in
practice, and what place it usually has in my daily life.