Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained

Q: I volunteer every once in a while. How can I incorporate serving the poor in my everyday life?

A: In the Gospels, Jesus is very clear about emphasizing outreach to vulnerable persons on the margins of society. These may be the materially poor, the disabled, the lonely, or any others whose circumstances drive them from mainstream society. We can all respond to Christ’s call to love by incorporating direct service into our regular life routine. Here are some ideas to find your niche:

Consider your life. Before you look for direct service opportunities, consider your schedule, commitment levels, and personal gifts. When can you help out and how regularly? Where have you volunteered in the past that has felt like a good fit? Do you have any particular skills or personality traits that lend you to particular work?

Do some research. There are a lot of structured ways you can get involved in your community. Your parish might have a social concerns outreach program. If not, ask friends and family. A simple online search for local nonprofits can also expose you to new opportunities.

Be open to God’s invitation. The chance to serve may be closer than you think. Befriending an elderly neighbor, widowed and far from children, is an act of serving the poor. Keep your eyes and heart open!