Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Building strong communities became very important early on in the History of the Church, This concept proved to be crucial especially in the first few centuries where persecution was the rule rather than the exception. Way back in the primitive Church, Jesus' teaching to love our neighbor as ourselves became a salient aspect and mark of the Church. We can observe an example of this attitude in the legends surrounding our patron Saint Nicholas, where doing unto others, in the name of Christ has become a staple of the season celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is in this understanding that we find it imperative that we, as a faith community exemplify the spirit of giving, especially of our time and talents in the service of others. Who are our neighbors? Our concern for others must reach beyond our parish doors, embracing the larger community, even those who are unbelievers.
What can we do? Yes, volunteering in services to our local parish as a lector, server, or another type of ministry will always be appreciated, but consider the words of Jesus: For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me. It seems the needs of our neighbors are timeless and eternal.
It is my conviction that our witness of selfless community service will be essential in building our own community of faith,
Peace and Blessings