Teens from the Bateman Godsquad Youth Group (St Thomas More Parish) listened to a talk presented by one of our youth leaders on ‘Joy in Service’, the Year of Youth focus area from February to April. This coincided with the season of Lent, the traditional time to reach out to others in charity, almsgiving and service. The presentation outlined the Corporal Works of Mercy, which serves as a model for how we should treat all others – as if they were Christ in disguise. This was followed by a brainstorming session in share groups on practical ways that we could make an impact and serve others. We decided to rummage through our wardrobes and find items of clothing that we could donate.
We brought these clothes into our next youth night, working together to sort through and pack the clothes into boxes to send to an orphanage in the Philippines. Through this experience, we learnt that Christian service is an act of love, freely given as an expression of God’s love and in imitation of Jesus himself; and that in order to give it, we must first receive it – through sacraments, retreats, liturgies and our relationships with others. We have also come to recognise that we, as teenagers, are not simply the future of the Church, but that we are also very much part of our current Church today.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me. (Matthew 25: 35-36)
And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25: 40)