The MODG Message: Getting Involved
Getting involved. What does this (from first appearance) quite vague, somewhat confusing, and possibly narcissistic phrase really mean? Does it mean being a part of more activities that revolve around yourself, your social life, or your general enjoyment? Does it mean involving yourself in a plethora of self-bettering pursuits in your intellectual life or sports career, all ultimately for you, yourself, and you?
Think again, it doesn’t.
As proud Catholic teens, we have a responsibility to rise above the common attitude of most, holding that the teen is generally lazy and isn’t ever particularly inclined towards doing anything that isn’t going to be for him in one way or another. We have a responsibility to get involved in our communities, becoming active and engaged members, and strive to better our society.
Whoah, whoah, whoah, slow down. I know, it sounds a bit idealistic, maybe even a touch naive.
But, fellow teens, the future light and life of our hurting world, it’s not.
Changing the world does not start with you inventing a cure for cancer, or becoming president. It starts with you, with charity in your heart and devotion in your acts, getting involved in the community you live in, and working, one small act of kindness after another, to better the life of someone around you.
As St. Teresa of Calcutta said, ‘I’m just a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.’
When we get involved in something that has the purpose not to serve our own wants, but the needs of another, we are acting in a manner resembling that of Christ Himself. When we act like Christ towards another, we are bettering ourselves, bettering the person we are sharing our Christ-like love with, and ultimately, bettering the world.
It can be hard to do something not for ourselves, something that does not, on first appearance, benefit us in any immediate way. It can be hard to go outside our comfort zone and be as Christ to someone else.
But it must be done. We must serve others. It is by acting as a servant to others that we are indeed sanctifying ourselves, acting as a servant to others that we will indeed reach Heaven. The world will be changed, better, by people acting towards others with kindness and charity and for you and me, this must start now.
So, what are ways we can get involved in our society and become like Christ?
Try to find ways in which you can be of service.
If you have a particular skill set, for example, you are a wonderful pianist or especially skilled at piano, you can offer to tutor children of families who otherwise could not afford to give their children special help in these areas.
If you are good at building things, ask your parish if they have any things they need fixed or any projects that need completing.
If you have a good voice, see if your church is in need of a cantor.
There is always something you can do! There is always someone you can help!
Embrace what you believe and stand up for it, sharing with your friends, family, and even strangers the Christ-like love you have within you!
Here is a practical list of certain activities which you might like to try and incorporate into your life this next year and moving on into the future. They are ways you can ‘get involved’ not just for yourself, but to help others around you!
Volunteer at a soup kitchen near your house or organize a group to make care-packages or lunches for the homeless
Ask your parish priest if there are any projects which you can help with at the church, whether doing maintenance, general cleaning, or anything else which he might need
If you are a good student or even just have a gift for explaining things to others and working with children see if there are any families in your community who might appreciate the help of having someone who can help their younger children with tutoring they themselves might not have time or money for
Ask around in your community and see whether anyone might appreciate having the help of a responsible teenager to either help them with their children or even babysit them for a short while to allow for the parent to get an often much-needed break
If you are a cook or are in any way adept at that difficult art of cooking, offer to make a dinner for a mom in your community who is sick or has just had a new baby
Volunteer at your parish in any way you can by altar serving, lectoring, cantoring, ushering, or singing in the choir
Organize groups to do por-life work, by either praying in front of abortion clinics or even helping at organizations such as Mary’s Path
Visit senior communities as there are senior living there who oftentimes have no one ever visiting them
Ask your elderly neighbors if there is anything you can help them with such as doing yardwork or any other project they might need assistance with
I am sure there are many other ways YOU can get involved in your community, and I encourage you to find them!
Get involved! Be like Christ to others! I think that you will find that the more you help others, the more in fact you are helping yourself!
“Wherever people are suffering make it your task to serve them.” – St. John Paul II