Thursday, November 29, 2012

Faith is service

A younger man I know reminded me of this last weekend, when his son was baptized and he was asked, at the luncheon that followed, to say a few words. He recounted meeting his wife at a service project organized by the Jesuit university he attended.

Service, he said, had become the watchword of their faith, that faith into which their child was baptized. She is a teacher serving her students by showing them the doors to knowledge. He is a lawyer who could be making outrageous amounts of money but is seeking jobs that perform actual service to society as a whole -- especially that part of society that can't afford a lawyer or can't defend itself against crime or malfeasance.

Service.

When Jesus spoke about the Final Judgment, he didn't say "I will welcome those who go to Mass every Sunday or those who engage in Bible study." He didn't mention those who protest abortion or gay marriage.

No. Jesus said the final judge would say to the saved:
"Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me." (Gospel According to Matthew, chapter 25)
Faith is service. Some say faith is love.
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