By the time we reach the end of January all the celebrations are over: Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Kwanza, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Epiphany.

It is now time to work on our New Year’s resolutions and get on with our daily life and get back to our routine. Now, what do we do for the next eleven months of 2024? In Matthew’s Gospel we hear the words “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” There are many people who are troubled and lost. Many who are doing without and may be homeless and workless. There are those who are abandoned by family who do not want to deal with their issues and there are those who are migrants that have lost a country. Yet if we look around we see that our community has many resources for many in need of support and assistance. If we look around our own homes we see that we have more than we need. The things that surround us are meant to make us happy, but happiness is not in things.

As some learned at Christmas time, it is what we give that makes us happy. What can one person do in the face of need that surrounds us? Moved with the compassion of God, we act! One person enacting the compassion of God does not remain one person very long. From the very beginning of time we are called to labor with God. As a community, as a family, our life of joy and happiness becomes entrusted in the spirit of giving of ourselves to become laborers with others.

You and I can labor in our community to aid, to listen, to assist, and enjoin with others to give out of our abundance for all who need. Walton could be a place for refugees to come to, it could be a shelter for the homeless, it could be a place where a daily cental soup kitchen is available, it could be place where clothing and cooking supplies could be distributed, and a place where warmth and social gathering is possible. There are many ways a person and a community can labor, not in vain, but for the essential condition of laboring with God to build a home for God’s family.

A life of giving is a life well lived!