Service Inspired by the Empty Tomb

When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.” John 20:1-9

Reflection by Libby Riggs, Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Volunteer Program

Coming to the end of my discernment and awaiting a new adventure in my upcoming year of volunteering, I ponder what is in store.  I ask myself if no matter how much I give or offer, will I feel selfish for all that will be given back to me by those I serve?  Having spent much time with the PHJC Sisters and their ministries since I was a youth, I have always found it hard to walk away not feeling that I gained more than I gave.  As I filled out the application, it asked if I could work with the poor.  I had worked beside them for a week at a time in differing ministries, but never lived, really lived among those less fortunate.  Then I recalled my service in the Peace Corps, and yes, I did serve among those less fortunate, but the spirit of the people blinded me. I only saw the smiles, the laughter, the community, the souls of the people which soon made me realize, that perhaps, I was the one who was poor, and they were in fact serving me and opening my own eyes.  

As I put myself into the words of the Gospel, I had to ask myself, am I not one in the crowd that shouts for His crucifixion when I turn a blind eye to an opportunity to serve someone in need. Though I may not shout those words, my actions may speak loudly at times when I deny the needs of others.  I pray that as I begin this year of service, that I may reach up to take Jesus down from the cross with every good deed or word done in His holy name. Let us embrace the needs of others as if He is embracing us beside the empty tomb.  

Thank You for the gift of faith, for whispering 
to my heart, for the strength to replace all my fears
 with faith.  Open my eyes to see Your face in the faces
 of those in need around me.  Speak to me so that I 
hear and recognize what You most desire of me. Help 
me to continue to live more simply so that I am not 
bogged down by worldly possessions.  As I leave behind 
the hectic, chaos of my former job, let me begin to
 quiet my heart so that I can live more fully for those 
I will be serving.  Above all, Thank you, O Lord, for 
the beauty and blessings that you surround me with,
 never let me forget to live with a grateful heart, for 

You, my most prized possession.  

Focus on: Spirituality 

Like Jesus, who often went away to pray alone, find a specific time of day to get away.  Make this a time to be alone with Him. Reflect on how and where He calls, be grateful, but sit in the quiet of his embrace and allow His spirit to fill you and regenerate.
Service Suggestion:

Rather than joining in the crowd that yelled to “crucify him!” look for ways to find your own voice to speak for those in need, to serve and represent those trampled by the crowd.
This reflection is part of our Lenten Series – Download the Lenten Guide Here

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