Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it!

Christ is washing the feet of a migrant. Image generated by DALL.E

Today’s Gospel is a big ask, especially if one does not have community spirit and/or a preferential option for the poor.  

Then to all he said:

If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?

(Luke 9:22-25)

Cardijn said the same.

Religion should not be outside of ordinary, daily life, but rather it should animate and transform it into a truly divine life.

(Joseph Cardijn, – La Croix, 13/06/1938)

It is important to note that Cardijn meant that a ‘truly divine life‘ integrates the interior and exterior.

This Lent, an important area where we can “lose our life for Jesus’ sake” and where religion can “animate and transform our daily life into a truly divine life” is in the area of volunteerism, if this is something we are not doing or not doing enough.

SEE

Volunteering contributes fundamentally to the functioning of society. Families, communities, and not-for-profit organisations rely on unpaid labour for essential and productive resources. However, volunteers are declining. A research paper by Rong Zhu (2022), “The Decline of Formal Volunteering in Australia (2001 – 2020): Insights from HILDA Survey“, highlights the following:

  • Volunteering participation in Australia generally declined from 2001 to 2020, corroborating analysis of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics General Social Survey by Volunteering Australia.
  • These declines in participation were most noticeable among Australians aged 45–60, women, and those without a university degree.
  • However, volunteer hours of unpaid work per week were either stable or increasing, with some fluctuations across the sample or sub-samples.
  • Quantitative evidence also suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the provision of volunteer work in Australia.

Are the highlights above similar to my/our experience?

Do I/we volunteer?

Can I/we volunteer?

How can I/we volunteer?

Where can I/we volunteer?

JUDGE

Based on Jesus call today “to lose our lives for His sake” and Cardijn’s call that our faith “should not be outside our lives, but rather that it should animate and transform it“, what can I/we do about volunteerism in my/our life/lives?

ACT

Will I/we do something concrete about volunteering today?

NOTE: DALL.E is a new AI system than can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.

Greg Lopez