“We the people of Mother of God Church aspire to be instruments of the peace of Jesus Christ, by:
- Worshiping God with joy and reverence
- Welcoming the stranger with love and compassion
- Serving those in need with humility and respect.”
A purpose statement is a brief, and direct summary of who we are as a parish, and what our essential goals and responsibilities are. Later, as a Parish Pastoral Council, and as a parish, we will seek to flesh out this statement, as we discern where our God is leading us as we make our way into the future.
Today let us consider the final bullet point of our Purpose Statement—Serving those in need with humility and respect. We recall the words of Jesus, “Whatsoever you do (or do not do) to the least of my brothers or sisters, you do to Me.” For Christians, service of those in need is not social work. It is worship. This is true if it is involvement in parish ministry of some sort, or if it is to family members or neighbors, or anyone else in need who we encounter. As in the Gospel account of the Good Samaritan from this Sunday, we are called to be neighbor to those who are in need of a neighbor.
Volunteering for St. Vincent de Paul, Parish Kitchen, the Emergency Shelter, Rose Garden Home Mission, or any other ministry is a great way to fulfill this command of Christ. It can be visiting a sick relative, preparing meals for someone who is homebound, mowing someone’s lawn, or shoveling their walk. Or a phone call to someone who might be lonely and would appreciate a little attention from someone.
There will be ways in which we can do these things collectively as a parish, but you are a representative of Mother of God, and an ambassador for Christ, wherever and whenever you meet someone.
Jesus has said, “I have come to serve and not to be served.” We must do the same.