“I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. Yet that I remain in the flesh is more necessary for your benefit. And this I know with confidence, that I shall remain and continue in the service of all of you for your progress and joy in the faith…” PHIL 1:23-25
How do you serve Christ today?
My dad who was a convert and gave alms to the Church but never volunteered for anything.He would always make sure that we all went to Church every Sunday, but it ended there.He was a good dad in every way and gave me my work ethic. However, in the last 20 years of his life in retirement, the only thing he did besides Church was take my mother and himself on a month long trip to visit family and friends.He seemed alive for that month and pretty bored the rest of the year. That is the key we are alive when we are active and doing something and giving of ourselves to others.
Saint Paul continues to write in the verses before
“Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death” PHIL 1:20
Said another way everything we do should glorify Christ. At my part time job I work with many people who are just above the poverty level. The job is just above minimum wage and is a benefit to many who take the bus to work and make just enough to get themselves through to the next month.I try to be conscientious and try to do the best I can at everything I do at work and the added income is beneficial. I am blessed to have a small pension and my wife and I are always busy.
Volunteering is the extra we do and is rewarding for me because in every way doing things to serve Christ and increasing the faith of others gives purpose to our lives. Let us face it our home is not on this planet. Our home is heaven. Everyone wants to go there but no one wants to die to get there which is a line from a country and western song, but I always liked it. Saint Paul agrees because he says he is caught between the two in his letter to the Philippians.
Why would Jesus need our help on earth? When Jesus was alive He used people to help Him in many ways. Mary carried Him in her womb for 9 months of His life and raised Him to adulthood. As an adult He used the woman at the well to give Him water. He used Simon of Cyrene to help Him carry his cross. Nevertheless, we can get burnt out if we do too much or our family can suffer because we do not give them the attention they deserve, and in balancing our lives we are also proclaiming Christ. A couple of weeks ago, I was supposed to volunteer at Church on Friday and Saturday evening and as things turned out I needed to be with my wife those evenings. The spirit was willing but the body was weak. As it turned out I was supposed to be with my wife, because she needed me for this period of time.
The reason that the scripture speaks to me today is not to urge you to volunteer for anything the Spirit does not urge you to do, but do everything to proclaim Christ and that may mean doing nothing and being with family or just to rest your own body.
“As long as in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed…” PHIL 1:18
Even the simplest act can proclaim Christ. It is not in what we do or how much we do as long as we are proclaiming Christ in the process.
I have already cast my ballot by absentee for the elections coming up and I prayed before I made my choices and in every choice I tried to proclaim Christ. All of us will be doing soul searching this election day. We also do humble acts of love when we take out our neighbors recycling out to the curb for pickup. God put your neighbor next door to you so we have take care of each other. Just being there for your spouse or children is always important. Just think of the smallest act you do out of love for Christ and you are following the truth and spirit of Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
Simple things or big things. “ Christ is being proclaimed”. Christ gives us the attitude in the Gospel for today that we all should do it all with a humble heart. From the Gospel of Luke in today’s reading, Jesus says that true servants don’t do things to glorify themselves but glorify God. So when we do volunteer let it be with a true servants heart, glorifying God in all we do.
My prayer today is this: That Christ is proclaimed in our nation and in our homes and in everything we do. God be praised !
God Bless You
Readings: Philippians 1:18 B-26; Psalm 42: 2,3.5 CDEF; Luke 14:1, 7-11