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Sacraments of Service

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Human beings are characterized by the ability to consciously work in order to meet their individual needs as well as those of the society at large. Various institutions like the government through the leaders and the church play a central role in encouraging people to offer services for the common good. The Catholic Church in particular has well established traditions that guide the followers on how they can live their adult lives in service to God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2002). We shall discuss the sacraments of service, the role of the single Christian person’s vocation, and the teachings of Jesus Christ as far as vocation is concerned.

In the catholic church, there are seven major sacraments which are divided into major groups; sacraments of Christian initiation-baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist, sacraments of healing- penance and reconciliation, and anointing of the sick, sacraments of service- Holy Orders and Matrimony. Each of these sacraments has a specific purpose in the recipient. Sacraments of service are meant for the salvation of other people through special consecration. Those who receive these sacraments commit their lives to the service of God by offering their services to others (Mick, 2006). Through the special service to others, the dedicated individuals may receive personal salvation.

Matrimony refers to the sacrament received by couples through marriages as they commit to serve one another with unrelenting love as well as serving the entire Church of Christ. This sacrament is a covenant of love for a lifetime and is inseparable. Concerning this sacrament, Jesus taught, “What therefore God has put together, let no man put asunder,” (Mark 10:9, ASV). He raised the nature of union in marriage to a supernatural sacrament of indivisible love of God and one another and life. This is one of the most popular vocations lived by adults. When the couple gives birth to offspring, they continue God’s work of creation.

Holy Orders is the second sacrament of service which is received by individuals who wish to consecrate their lives to serve God by feeding the Church by the Gospel and god’s grace (CCC, 1535) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2002). The sacrament is conferred in three degrees by the laying on of hands by the celebrant then it is followed by the saying of a prayer of consecration upon the ordained bishops, priests, and deacons. The primary role of these ministers is to help build up the People of God, preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, guide us in serving the poor and the needy, as well as celebrating the sacraments accordingly.

For all Christians, all work is inspired and motivated by Christ Himself. During His adult life on earth, Jesus set an example by serving God through service to mankind. Our service ought to follow Christ’s model and hence our various vocations are ministries.

Apart from the two vocations identified above, adults can live their Catholic vocations as single people. These are individuals who opt to remain single by not getting married. This life is acknowledged in the church as a calling from God just like other vocations (Mick, 2006). Motivated by the desire to help the poor and other needy people, individuals devote their lives in love and service them. With no family or religious commitments, single people pursue their professions like law, medicine, teaching, engineering, music, and so forth after which they offer their services on a full time basis.

They carry on with their day to day lives while imitating Jesus Himself who was a carpenter. As a son bringing the message from His Father, Jesus dedicated His entire life doing the ordinary things, working with His earthly father. He then ventured into full scale teaching of the people about the Kingdom of heaven, His ultimate mission. Jesus then urged the disciples to follow His teachings and go to the whole world, proclaiming the Good News (Matthew 28: 19-20, ASV).  

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