Kelly Colangelo reminds us that service activities are first and foremost opportunities for serving Christ in others.
St. Vincent de Paul said, ‘Go to the poor and you will find God.’ Oftentimes we go to the poor, but we forget that we are seeking and serving Christ. But community service is to be the giving of ourselves to help others rather than just a ‘project completed’ or ‘hours counted’. As Jesus said, ‘For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve’ (Mk 10:45).
In recent years, community service and volunteering has played an integral role in the lives of young people. This may be a result of a school and/or Church requirement; but regardless, active involvement in community service is on the rise with youth. With increased participation in community service, one would hope this means more young people growing in their relationship with the Lord and putting their faith in action. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. One might suspect, in fact, that there is more and more outreach, but less of a presence of God.