For most people, to serve means going out of our way and out of our comfort zones. The Good Samaritan seems to be the New Testament prototype of going out of your way, The Good Samaritan went out of his way to help another who was literally an “other.” Even today some would marvel at the lengths he went to welcome a stranger and think of him as foolhardy.
And let’s not forget Mary. After the Annunciation, she could easily have basked in being the news she had received. And probably few of us would have been surprised if she stayed in her room and wrestled with what the announcement might mean as it the implications played out. But that did not stop Mary from literally going out of her way to a considerable degree to visit Elizabeth. She had the courage to go beyond herself to serve.
Continuing the series of reflections on service to the marginalized written by Fr. Jim Cormack, CM, .famvin offers his thoughts on the questions he thinks Vincent ask of us. Today’s question …”Do we have the courage to go out of our comfort zones and serve?”
And so next I ask, are we courageous enough to serve? Are we ready to begin what may well fail, or show no measurable or discernible results? It takes courage to risk not being foolhardy, but to be risky. To begin something we cannot control and to trust that there will be a way to find in the seeming madness, life and wholeness requires enormous courage. Life is risky, though we often try to change and order it so it will not be. We often try to do only what we know we can. Service to those whose lives are marked by deprivation is risky; deprivation can make life seem mad or illogical, random, senseless and out of control. If we help one, three more call. This demands energy, wisdom, and resources. What do we do when we cannot change anything, when as on Calvary only love and presence are there. Service of the poor requires courage based on trust, not strength from externals. Small wonder that Vincent spoke often and powerfully about trust in Divine Providence. It is no surprise that such trust rests in courage.
Note that before this series became a series it was just a reflection on Jim Cormack’s second question “Are you weak enough to serve?” Click here to see his second question.