In this new liturgical year, the Gospel of Luke urges us to be mindful of the poor and suffering among us. There are many things we can do during the Advent and Christmas seasons to assist efforts to alleviate hunger in our communities. Whether you volunteer individually, as a family or as part of a group or parish, the possibilities for serving the poor are almost limitless.
Consider doing one or more of the 8 suggestions below:
- Pray for the poor, and ask God to transform your own attitudes about those in need, realizing that all of us are poor in some way before God’s grace.
- During the Prayers of the Faithful, add your personal petition that the members of the parish community open their hearts to the poor.
- Collect food items for our parish food pantry or one in our community.
- Volunteer to help in our parish pantry for a day of sorting, bagging or distributing.
- Buy fast food gift cards to give out to people you see who need a meal or to those who request your aid on our downtown streets.
- Collect fast food and other gift cards to be handed out to those in need who stop by the parish.
- Make your own generous financial gift to an organization that serves the poor.
- Think about ways to use your professional skills in a volunteer capacity at your chosen anti-hunger organization. There are many programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) screening and application assistance centers, food banks, and other anti-hunger organizations, that can use your help to make sure that all eligible people have access to nutrition assistance and anti-hunger programs.
You will find rich rewards in fulfilling these stewardship tasks. For Jesus said that whatever we do for one of the least of his brothers and sisters, we do it for him (see Matthew 25:40)