A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

In the Right Place

Posted on: April 15, 2016

When talking about a task we truly enjoy, we might describe it as a labour of love—something we’d do even if we weren’t paid for our work because it brings us pleasure.

For one person, that task could be designing and building furniture or a garden; for another, cooking and baking; for yet another, caring for children or grandchildren.

For how many of us would that task be an act of service to our parish, such as serving as a lector or Eucharistic minister, or to our community, such as volunteering at the local food or furniture bank?

What put this in my mind? The other day, I read these verses in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3*:

We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

If our work in our parish or community isn’t a labour of love, are we serving in a position not suited to our skills and abilities—possibly something we agreed to do because no one else stepped forward or we were “voluntold” to fill the role?

Years ago, I served as an usher and greeter at the church I attended. I wasn’t suited to the role and didn’t enjoy serving. But when I had the opportunity to act as a lector, I felt very much at home. I still enjoy serving as a lector and, for over a year, as a Eucharistic minister; I feel blessed to serve my parish in this way and as though I’m in the right place.

If we’re not sure what the right place is for us, we can talk to our parish priest or to the leaders of a community organization we support to find out where there’s a need for volunteers and try different roles on for size, as well as pay attention to those times when we see someone else serving and think, “I’d like to do that.” In fact, that’s what started me on the path to helping serve Communion.

I pray that, if we’re not already serving in our parish or the wider community, the Holy Spirit would guide us in discovering just what our labour of love would be.

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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