Ministry of Service

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Bel San Luis SVD – Christ the King Seminary of Quezon City

Wednesday 5th Week of Easter

A few years back, a student of a Catholic college was being initiated into an organization. He was asked: “What are the most important requirements of our Christian faith?”

Without batting an eyelash, he replied, “Going to Mass on Sunday and receiving Holy Communion.”

These are, indeed, required of every Catholic, but definitely that is not enough.

Jesus compares a faithful follower to a plant. A plant does not only grow but should also bear fruit. “He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit. By this my Father is glorified, and so prove to be my disciple” (Jn 15,5-8).

What does Christ mean by this? He means that our faith must be productive in acts of love and a life lived in moral integrity.

“Bearing fruits” can take the form of reaching out to the needy, like helping the sick, the less fortunate and supporting the missionary work of the Church, or getting involved in religious and parish activities.

In the Parable of the Last Judgment, Jesus says that only those who faithfully carry out their Christian ministry of helping, caring, and sharing will achieve eternal life.

That does not mean that striving for material needs and wealth and our mass- going and prayers are unimportant. But the fruit of all these should flow to the ministry of loving service. Regarding wealth, Jesus said emphatically, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his own soul?” (Mt 16,26).

A man once confessed, “What scares me most is when I come face to face with God in the next life… Mother Teresa of Calcutta reports, and God says, ‘Teresa, you should have done more good works.’ And there I am, right behind her!”

ASK YOURSELF: How much good works am I doing, particularly for my less privileged brethren? Am I a Sunday mass goer but am harsh, unjust, and dishonest in my work?

Finally, let’s not forget Jesus’ threatening words: “Every tree, therefore, that is not bearing good fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 3,10).

Bearing good fruit is a condition to attain eternal life.

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