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'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

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'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,
you did for me.'

Itís not all about me.

ďWhen I look back on my life for those things that were truly important and rewarding, I find that none of them is about me.  They are all about other people.  Whether it was child, a family member, my wife, even complete strangers, it was those times when I did something for someone else that I remember and feel good about.Ē An old mentor once told me. 

He went on to explain that those acts of support and kindness heíd done, created enduring satisfaction, and helped make him a better person, a happier person.  Jesus tells us that serving others wins us salvation, as well.

The word ministry used to conger up visions of some person, who was nothing like me, in an undeveloped country spreading the Gospel and helping lepers.  But ministry is when we help a neighbor carry in her groceries, or shovel the snow for a friend with the flu, too. 

Here is a piece of ministry work for you: We were in London trying to buy a token for a bus ride.  We couldnít figure out which bus we needed, nor how to use the machine to purchase the correct tokens.  A Londoner came up and answered all our questions and explained how to use the machine.  Furthermore, when he noticed that I was going to purchase all adult fares Ė because I didnít have the lower denomination of coin Ė he actually paid for the tokens and refused repayment.  That was ministry.

Whenever we reach out to help or support another who is in need, or do a simple kindness, we are doing ministry.  Those people who have turned themselves into kind and pleasant individuals who offer everyone they meet a welcoming disposition, as well as those that working one day a week at a soup kitchen, or volunteering at a hospital or old age home, are living the life God meant them to live, because they are doing ministry. 

We honor God and show our love for Him by spreading His love through our actions, and our disposition.  We worship God, when we love and serve each other.

God calls each of us to this type of ministry.  He calls you to be a loving, caring, pleasant person; He calls you to love your neighbor. 

Sometimes God puts you in the path of one in need, but He expects you to reach out as well as react.

When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he said, ďYou shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.Ē

You live this lesson whenever you minister to others with love in your heart; even a small act like holding a door open for someone with a smile on your face shows Godís love is in the world.  Your efforts are your love for God in action, they do honor to Him.

Thereís an old joke about a guy in a flood that prays to God to save him.  Every time someone comes along offering help he turns them down.  After the third refusal of help, he drowns.  Face to face with God, he says, ďI canít believe you let me drown.  I prayed to you and believed that you would save me, why didnít you.Ē  God looks at him and says, ďWhatís wrong with you?  I sent ten people in two boats and a helicopter, and you turned them all away.Ē

You are the person that God sends to answer prayers.  At least, you should be one of them.

So, how can you get started?  Where do you get started?  Taking care of the tasks God puts in your path is a no-brainer, but to someone who has never gotten involved with regular out-reach ministry getting started can be a challenge.

I saw something on TV recently about two men that drive around looking for people that need help of any kind.  When they find someone who needs help, they do everything they can to help them.  WOW!  Thatís dedication.  Thatís humanity at its best.  But we donít all have the time or where with all to be that proactive, and we donít have to be.  The thing about ministry is to do what you can do and what you do best.  There is so much need in the world, so many things that you can do that there is no reason for you to do something you have a hard time doing, unless youíre asked out right.

  Through your parish you will find more groups doing more regularly scheduled outreach projects then you can imagine.

In my community parishioners of eight local Catholic and protestant churches work together on projects like soup kitchens, food pantries and clothing drives for the needy and homeless.  There are programs to help children, others to help immigrants or to visit the elderly or infirm; and donít forget that your parish can always use help just keeping up the buildings and grounds. 

You know how much it costs to keep up your home, well in many cases your parish is paying professionals to do maintenance, general up-keep and remodeling work for them; imagine how much money the parish would save if a group of parishioners got together to help with projects like painting rooms, and cleaning up?

There are also organizations already set up like the Knights of Columbus, Habitat for Humanity, local Loaves and Fishes organizations and Cornerstone, as well as groups of people loosely organized in your parish and town who satisfy needs that they see or hear about.  Ask at your parish, find out what type of programs and projects are available, and then pick one that you feel comfortable with, and give it a try.  Youíll be surprised at how great you feel, the wonderful people youíll meet, the friendships you will make.  Itís very rewarding.

Itís called Ministry, and God wants us to do it; I believe that He expects us to do it.  You can make up your own mind about that by reading what Jesus has to say to you on the subject.  Youíll find one reference in Matthew 25:34-46.

The best way to get started is at your parish.  Talk to the pastor or your favorite priest.  While you can do things by yourself, remember, there is strength in numbers, and youíll find that a lot of your neighbors and fellow parishioners are already actively involved.

Cornerstone is a wonderful way to build new alliances and friendships that will not only help you be more effective in the ministry you choose, but enjoy what youíre doing a lot more. 

Cornerstone has given me friendships that I treasure, and hours of happiness doing Godís work.  Even the times Iíve spent just sitting around talking to the good, dependable people that Iíve met and made friends with have been extremely valuable to me. 

Speaking as a man, I can tell you that youíll find your Cornerstone brothers more loyal, trustworthy and honorable than the guys at the bar or in the bowling league.  Youíll make friendships blessed by God.  And with these fellowships great work is done in the name of God.

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Here are some links to get you started:

        Cornerstone: Cornerstone Retreats develop fellowship for parish and community based ministry

        Loaves and Fishes: Feeding and distributing food locally.

        Knights of Columbus: An historic fraternal organization for Catholic men.

        Midnight Run: An aggressive program to feed and clothe the homeless.

        Food Patch: An organization that supplies food to local outreach projects organizations.

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Bible references

Matthew 25:34-46

Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'

Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'

And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'

Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'

He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' 

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Matthew 22:34-40

34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking, 36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

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You Can Serve God:
Each of us has different talents, different gifts, these can be used to support each other.
Though there are many ministries you can help with, you must find the one that you are best suited for.
Loaves and Fishes
Serving meals to the needy.
Food Pantry
Giving food to the needy.
Midnight Run
Proactively supplying food and clothing to the homeless.
Prison Ministry
  • Visiting prisoners
  • Letters of Encouragement
Ministering to the sick and infirm.
  • Assisted care
  • Hospital & Hospice
  • Children
  • Veterans
For Your Parish
  • Alter Services
  • Advocates for People w/Special Needs
  • Building & Grounds
  • CCD Programs
  • Choir
  • Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
  • Lector/Commentator
  • Legion of Mary
  • Festival Planning
  • Fund Raising
  • Home & School
  • Rosary Society
  • Ushers
  • Youth Group
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Look in Bulletin for more
Music Ministry

Scouting

RCIA - Cristian Ritual

CCD

Search RC websites

 

Protect the young

Youth Group

 

Feed the hungry

 

Bring GOD to Someone

 

Helping Children

 

Visit the sick and lonely

 
Feeding the Spirit
 
 
 

 

About Cornerstone | Things to Read | Events | Retreats | Service | Our Parishes | Links | Join us

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Our goal for CornerstoneAlumni.com is to represent and be an outlet for every Cornerstone Alumni, male and female.  We will publish spiritual writing, reports on ministries, etc.

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