April is National Volunteer Month. It is a month set aside to recognize and thank volunteers who share their time, talent and/or treasure with others. The human person, being made in the image and likeness of God is created for a life of givenness. Volunteering is a huge way to live out this reality.
We, as human persons, are deeply dependent upon each other. We give and receive throughout our entire lives. Recognizing this reality and responding to the needs of others takes true humility. To see another and their needs requires us to look beyond ourselves and towards the other.
This is exactly what we are supposed to do as human beings. We are created to love and be loved. Paradoxically, in giving ourselves away, we become fully alive. Gaudium et Spes, states this well,“…[M]an, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself” (Gaudium et Spes, 24). Man, making a gift of himself, is a way in which we image God.
In the Gospels, we are given two great commandments by Christ – to love God and love neighbor (Mark 12:30-31). When we give of our time, talent or treasure we do exactly this, we love. Volunteering can be done in a variety of ways at any state in life. To begin, consider what you are good at and enjoy doing. Then brainstorm ways in which those skills could be for another’s good. Lastly, find a way to put that love into action and bring a friend along to join you!
Thank you for creating us in your image and likeness.
Thank you for giving us hands to serve you as we serve others.
Please bless us with new energy and fervor to serve you as we serve others.
We ask this in your name,
- Romans 13:9-10
- 1 John 4:20-21
- Matthew 19:19
Choose one new way to volunteer this week. This can be a one time or an on-going opportunity. Put your gifts to use for the kingdom!