The Joy of Service

Recommended for March 30

Leader: Protestant theologian Karl Barth said, “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” At a time when our profession is experiencing a crisis of burn out and shifting identity, joy and gratitude are twin pillars we can lean on for strength.

What are you grateful for in your role?
What brings you joy in your role?

In The Healer’s Calling, Franciscan friar and physician, Daniel Sulmasy speaks of gratitude and joy at the heart of health care. This morning, we will use his reflection as our prayer.

Reader 1: “Gratitude has been called the heart of prayer. It is also the heart of joy. Only healthcare professionals who are grateful can be joyful.

Reader 2: To be joyful is to be attentive to the profound meaning of the privilege of serving the sick and to be grateful for that privilege.

Reader 1: To be joyful is to be fascinated by people – in all colors shapes and sizes; of all sorts and temperaments; from all social strata – and to be conscious of how wonderful it is that God made them all and grateful that one has had the chance to meet so many on such intimate terms.

Reader 2: To be joyful is to note the regenerative mysteries of the body, to understand something of how it all works and to be grateful that one has been given the opportunity to nudge along the process of healing.

Reader 1: To be joyful is to know that one has been gifted with hands and with a mind through which the healing power of the Spirit can be mediated and to be grateful for those gifts.

Reader 2: To be joyful is to pour out the wine of fervent zeal and the oil of compassion day in and day out and to be grateful that the source of these liquors is inexhaustible.

All: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100

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