Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Serving With Our Hearts

By Becky Siewers
Becky Siewers

Lent will soon be upon us. We all ponder the question of what to give up, or perhaps, what to add to our already busy lives. But I think in preparing for Lent, we should be aware of how we can be of service to others.

Jesus taught us about service and challenges us to follow his example. As followers of Jesus, we serve in countless ways. The Lord is certainly pleased with us when we do things for others.

Each act of service we perform has spiritual significance no matter how big or small. We offer ourselves to God through these acts of service. We are giving back to him, uniting ourselves to the Lord and to the people we are serving.

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these lease brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

God loves it when we give to people from the heart, whether it be through money, time, our prayers, or listening with understanding and compassion. We must reach out to those who are hurting, struggling and questioning and help them to find peace.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

We must be careful when serving that we are doing it from our heart and not for our own satisfaction. When Jesus asks us to perform service, we should start with those who are closest to us – caring for family, showing them the love of God.

Perhaps your place of work could use some peace by showing dignity to coworkers. But don’t stop with what you are comfortable with; maybe let the Holy Spirit call you to a deeper place where you have to call upon God’s help.

Perhaps you could choose something that can be done with a group of friends or your prayer group. It may take some courage for you; but by taking that step, you will be helping others and growing in your relationship with God. Every step you take can make you more confident in sharing the gospel with others.

I can think of so many ways that people reached out to me with a helping hand, a listening ear or a caring heart. This is service that takes time and some patience, but can make such a significant difference in someone’s life.

I can remember 10 years ago on the day I was getting married, my friend showed up and spent the entire day with me as I went from place to place getting ready for the ceremony. She drove me around; we shared precious time together as friends; and she reassured those nerves that come on big days like that! Her presence meant so much to me as I was beginning a new chapter in my life. It may not sound like a lot but I will forever remember her presence in my life that day.

Anything we do that brings us closer to God allows him to pour his grace into our hearts. All that makes us more loving, kind and compassionate comes from God’s love for us. If we stop and look at our day each evening, we may see many things we have done that showed God’s love to others.

“Whoever serves me, must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me” (John 12:26).

So as we reflect on what we can do during Lent, as we are preparing for Easter, don’t wait for someone to reach out to you; reach out to them first. You can do that in many ways, big and small. It will bring blessings and comfort to them, and perhaps serve as an example for others to follow. We can be the body of Christ, becoming servants after the heart of Jesus.