Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
This year as a community at Saint Martin’s University, we are celebrating the Year of Service. From small, kind gestures to larger volunteer projects, there are many opportunities to serve others on campus and throughout the larger community. What exactly does it mean to serve and what does the Catholic Church say about service? How can you, as a member at St. Martin’s (student, professor, faculty, monk, etc.) contribute to the bettering of our community? How does service work help prepare us to be kind-hearted leaders in our world today?
To start, let us look at the words of Jesus himself in the Gospel of Matthew:
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me,” (Matthew 25:35-36),m and then continues on to say: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
What is the message Jesus is communicating to us? First, he not only invites us to a life of service but also proclaims that when we serve others, we are serving Jesus himself. As the Catholic Church teaches, each and every individual bears the beauty, likeness, and dignity of Jesus Christ, and therefore, the Lord’s presence dwells within each of our hearts. So when you serve another, you are serving Christ.
Junior, Melissa Brito, comments, “I feel like God calls us to humble ourselves and help others since throughout our lives, others have helped us. Specific individuals in our lives have helped us get to where we are today- whether that is financially, spiritually, etc. He then calls us to help another person get to where they will be in life.”
In a world filled with so much hatred, selfishness, and greed, genuine kindness and love seems to be slipping away. Yet, as members of the wonderful community here at Saint Martin’s, we are each invited to look beyond our own needs/wants and instead, seek to place others before ourselves. This can be as simple as holding the door for another individual, smiling at others in the hallway, or picking up a piece of trash on the ground. Perhaps you can message a relative/family member and ask how they are doing, or tell your parents how much you love them. Consider taking a friend you care about out to lunch or spending time with others in our community. There are so many opportunities to serve others through both our words and actions, and I invite each of you to reflect on how you can better our community each day.
Sophomore, Jessica Andres, remarks, “At Saint Martin’s, students can be leaders by going out and participating in different clubs, ministries, and being active in school functions. Ultimately, there is a leader within yourself and college is a great place to discover those leadership qualities.”
For those of you who are interested in service projects, there are many opportunities to get involved on and off campus. Please check your school email for specific details about the various service opportunities that are offered at Saint Martin’s.