In this annual series, current and former volunteers reflect on the Lenten Gospels and the Four Pillars of Faith-Based Service: Social Justice, Simplicity, Community and Spirituality. Presented by Catholic Apostolate Center and Catholic Volunteer Network.
Fifth Sunday Lenten Reflection By Megan Gaskin, Jesuit Volunteer Corps
“Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:1-45)
When Jesus heads back to Judea and Lazarus is already dead, Martha and Mary are desperate for Jesus to do something for them. Jesus says to Martha as he is approaching Lazarus in the tomb, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” I feel in the act of service we witness the “glory of God” in the ones we serve each day.
During my year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, each day at the school I worked at I would witness great things with the students from running my bracelet club, assisting the students struggling in the classroom, and working together with my fellow coworkers in the school. The Jesuit motto of “to see God in all things” was so present throughout my year. I would see God in my share of struggles, in my happy moments and with the students. My year of service was definitely not easy. I had my share of struggles. I feel through my tough times it a way of being tested to see how strong I am. God does not give you what you cannot handle. As in the Gospel reading, after Jesus brings back Lazarus from the dead, the Jews see and realize what He has done and began to believe in Him. I feel from my year of service, that God was present with me every step of the way.
Lord, I pray for all those who believe in you.
Help us to see God in all things in the good and the bad parts of our lives.
Grant us to be a witness in our own communities in our everyday life.
I pray that we can have strength to go through our struggles.
May we always know that you are with us every step of the way each day.
Focus on Community
In the Gospel reading, the community is just starting to believe in Jesus that he is the Son of God. For Jesus, he must be struggling with the community he lives in because they are all not understanding and believing in who he actually is. We all are a part of multiple communities in our everyday lives. We may be a part of a parish community, a workplace community, and even your own family community. What role will each community play in your journey through Lent?
I challenge each one of you to talk to someone new in your everyday community. When you talk to someone new, you could learn new things from one another. This new person could be a new coworker, your new neighbor who just moved in on your block, or someone you see all the time but have never spoken to. It is hard being the new person and a friendly smile and welcome could put them at ease as they head into their new community.
Megan Gaskin resides on Long Island, NY. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Molloy College. After graduation, she spent a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Sacramento, CA working at a middle school. She currently works at Hofstra University in the Alumni Department. She got married on Leap Day this year.
Looking for more reflections like this one? We invite you to download our Lenten Reflection Guide in its entirety, available by clicking here. You can also find an extensive library of Lenten resources by visiting the Catholic Apostolate Center website – click here.
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