Lent 2018: Reflections from Current and Former Volunteers 2018 Lenten Reflection Guide - Page 7

M y volunteer program, SOME (So Others Might Eat) is an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of our nation’s capital. We meet the immediate daily needs of the people we serve with food, clothing, and health care. We help break the cycle of homelessness by offering services, such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling, to the poor, the elderly and individuals with mental illness. Each day, SOME is restoring hope and dignity one person at a time. Today’s Gospel includes some of the most well-known lines in the bible. John 3:16 states, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” I view this as God giving his Son to help the rest of humanity so they do not have to perish and will have eternal life. He loves us so much and wants the best for us. Another verse states “But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” I believe this verse is telling us that we should practice our faith and show God’s love by helping others. I do my best to live out this Gospel as I volunteer with low-income senior citizens at the SOME Senior Center. I get to plan enjoyable activities and interact with the seniors – talking to them about wellness, playing bingo with them, ensuring they get a healthy meal, and just spending time talking with them and getting to know them. I want to bring some light into their lives. I also learn from the seniors – they have so much to share. Focus on: Spirituality To me, Spirituality means faith. This Gospel tells us that we should whole-heartedly place our faith in God. If we have faith in him, we will have eternal life. If we practice our faith by living the way God wants us to live, including serving others, he will be pleased with us. We need to believe that he sent us to this Earth for a purpose, whether it is to volunteer, or to pray for another or just to share his word. Service Suggestion I encourage everyone to volunteer. Find a program that speaks to your heart. Look to groups like Catholic Volunteer Network for lists of opportunities. Pray about it – ask God to guide your service and to give you strength when things get challenging. If you can’t commit to a long-term program, volunteer for a day. Volunteering not only impact others but can change the course of your life. About the Author: Jacqueline Martilla, currently serving with So Others Might Eat (SOME) Jacqueline Martilla is originally from Long Island, NY. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Marywood University in 2016. She is currently a year- long volunteer with SOME (So Others Might Eat) Volunteer Corps. John 3:14-21 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” ~ prayer ~ My prayer for you all today is to reflect on what God has done for you and what you can do for God and for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember, “But who ever lives the truth comes to the light so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” Pray to God that you can be the light to someone who may be in the darkness.