Father Ron is a parish pastor who got me looking at Scripture in a different manner. Where so many of the clergy (regardless of Christian faith) talk at you, he talked to you in his homilies. In Genesis 4:9, Cain asks God: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Instead of just saying that you need to help others, Father Ron began picking out parishioners at that Mass and unexpectedly putting them on the spot. “Dave, you have an elderly woman living next door. Do you offer to mow her lawn, whenever you mow yours?” “Sally, there is a single woman who works 2 jobs to support her 2 children in the apartment next to yours. Do you offer to baby-sit once in a while to give her a break?” He went on like this for several minutes. He got his point across.
We all hear this verse and think about our volunteer work in the community, but we always think in terms of “a mile from my home“. Otherwise — we subconsciously help in areas away from our own home, rather than those next door or just down the street. Why? Because we can walk away from the hardships of others and return to the comfort of our own home. We don’t do it deliberately. We do it instinctively.
So, begin looking around your own neighborhood. What can you do to help there? Are there elderly that have to pay for odd jobs to be done? Single mothers who could use a hand with small fix-it jobs around their home? A small neighborhood park that could use a good pick up monthly? If you look hard enough, I’m sure you’ll see a need — no matter how small. Perhaps, you can organize neighbors for the bigger jobs?
Think about it.