How to love your neighbor

Larry and Joan have focused much of their time over the past 20 years on their family and their careers. They have always participated in Sunday Mass, and occasionally they have brought food or clothing for a special collection. As their youngest son, Chad, entered high school this autumn, Larry began reflecting on their lives and priorities. Joan had been thinking about these things, too. Recently, they began to talk about this together. Joan began: “We do what we can to be good parents; we work hard and occasionally take time for ourselves. Yet I have often felt there is something missing. What I realize now is that we have rarely served others beyond our family.”

“Yes, I have been thinking about this as well,” Larry said. “In fact, if I look at our lives through the lens of faith, we may be missing something very important. By ignoring our call to love our neighbor, not only are we being selfish, we are teaching our children to be selfish, too.”

Joan called the parish office the following day and found there are many opportunities to serve. Some were right at the parish, and all of the ministries were organized into groups, so they would not have to feel awkward or alone as they began. That evening, Joan, Larry and Chad discussed this together. Chad agreed to go with his parents to help organize food donations after Mass the following Sunday. He said: “It seems such a small thing to do, but I am glad we are starting somewhere. I have to admit, I've often wondered why we did not reach out to someone before now. You have always taught us to love God, and now you are teaching us to love our neighbor, too.”

This article comes to you from Grace In Action (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.


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