The virtue of the month for August in Challenge & Conquest is service. Service a virtue that is very easy to understand and explain, but not always as easy to live. Jesus showed us the true example of service at the Last Supper when he washed his apostles’ feet. There were no limits to what he would do to serve others. It takes humility to serve others because you are putting another person’s feelings and needs before your own. Selfishness and service do not work well together. Some people may not think of service as a virtue, instead they may see it more as a duty some people have or something they are entitled to. “I demand good customer service.” We are talking about a different type of service- one that does not have a price tag attached to it. We are talking about Christian service, the kind Jesus lived. Jesus did not have to wash his disciples’ feet. He did not have to cure people or feed the five thousand. He was not repaid and sometimes he did not even receive a simple “thank you”, like when he cured the 10 lepers. Jesus came to this earth to redeem us and show us how to live. As Christians, we are to follow in his footsteps and serve others freely simply because they are fellow human beings, in need to love and care. When we serve our families by setting the table or helping a younger brother or sister with homework, or even babysitting, do we do it like Jesus or do we look for something in return? When we help a friend in need do we do it with the same love and joy that Jesus would? When we have the opportunity to help a complete stranger in need, do we do it like a real Christian?
There is a very important moment in our Christian lives when we realize that we can freely choose to help others and be good to them, for no other reason that the simple fact that it pleases God and will give the other person happiness. We realize that people need me and I need them. I can make a difference in someone else’s life by my actions or words – in a positive or a negative way. The YOUCAT # of the month for Challenge and Conquest speaks about how we as Catholics are called to help those in need, especially those who cannot help themselves. YOUCAT question of the month: #242: Why should the Church take special care of the sick? One of the distinctive characteristics of Christianity has always been that the elderly, the sick, and the needy are central to it.
Pope Francis is a wonderful example of service. He is not afraid of getting his hands dirty to help someone in need. When speaking to young people last year he said, “Do not shut yourselves in your small world, but be open to others, especially to the poorest and neediest, to work to improve the world in which we live. Be men and women for others, real champions in the service of others.” Let’s answer his call to be champions in service by living out this virtue of the month and serving the people in our lives.