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Only Through Community

Solidarity: sharing our resources
{xtypo_quote}Jesus said to his disciples: "Give them something to eat". They answered: "How can we buy food for so many people?" But Jesus replied: "You have some loaves: how many?" They found five loaves and two fish. Jesus asked them to make the people sit down together in groups of hundreds and fifties… (Mark. 6, 30-44){/xtypo_quote}
In the gospel of the multiplication of the bread, Jesus invited the disciples to promote solidarity and to trust in people's capacity of sharing. The disciples wanted to send the people away because they did not see how they themselves could ever feed such a mass of people, but Jesus showed them that in that crowd there were some resources available: some loaves and some fish. They only needed to organize the crowd and make them share the little that was there. And, interestingly there was enough for everybody! There was even food in excess. That is what we are also called to do in our communities: to organize the people and to create a capacity of sharing, to promote solidarity. The resources are available, only some people have them in plenty, while others have too little.
{xtypo_quote} It is not that you ought to relieve other people's needs and leave yourselves in hardship; but there should be a fair balance - your surplus at present may fill their deficit, and another time their surplus may fill your deficit. So there may be a fair balance. (2 Cor. 8, 13-14) {/xtypo_quote}
Solidarity does not only involve the sharing of resources. It also means sharing in the suffering of the other: being there when a person is in physical or mental pain, holding somebody's hand, giving the other the feeling that he does not need to carry his or her burden alone.


Volunteering: sharing our gifts
{xtypo_quote} "Whatever town or village you go into, search for someone trustworthy and stay with him…." (Mt. 10, 11) {/xtypo_quote}
In St. Martin-CSA we believe that there are many trustworthy people in the community who are ready to volunteer; people who can promote solidarity and create chains of love among the other people. It is our role to bring these people together. That is why St. Martin-CSA does not aim to solve the problems of the vulnerable people, but to involve the community; to ask volunteers to share their gifts and talents with those who have received less. We believe that our gifts and talents do not belong to us but that they are given to us for a special purpose: they are meant to be shared, to be put to the service and benefit of the community.
{xtypo_quote} "When someone is given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded of that person; when someone is entrusted with a great deal, of that person even more will be expected………." (Luke 12,48)

"Who made you so important? What have you got that it was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why are you boasting as though it were your own?" (1 Cor. 4,7)

"There is more happiness in giving than in receiving". (Acts 20, 35)

"Freely you received, freely give." (Mt. 10, 1-8) {/xtypo_quote}

Believing in the people
In St. Martin-CSA we believe that there are many people in the community who have something to offer for the common good and particularly for those who are vulnerable. We only have the tendency to think that we have to do it ourselves, while at the same time we do not feel able to do so. We feel helpless in many situations and we forget that we have brothers and sisters who could assist us and who have special gifts; who would even be very happy to use such gifts to serve others. Like Moses, who did not want to accept the call of God, because he felt that he was inadequate, yet he forgot that he had a brother who was gifted in speaking and could perfectly complement him; somebody who would be very happy to be introduced into the joy of service.
{xtypo_quote} Moses replied: "please, my Lord, send somebody else that you decide to send". At this God's anger kindled against Moses, and he said to him: "there is your brother Aaron, is there not? I know that he is a good speaker. Here he comes to meet you. When he sees you, his heart will be full of joy. He will speak to the people in your place….". (Exodus 3,7-11) {/xtypo_quote}

Targeting the able people
In St. Martin-CSA, we focus on the able people in the community: to make them grow in love and solidarity for others. Also Jesus was very close to the rich and the wealthy because he was a master in seeing the weaknesses they had in the heart. He knew that they were in great need of his teachings and his love.
{xtypo_quote} When Jesus was at dinner in Levi's house a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?' When Jesus heard this he said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick'. (Matthew 9, 10-12)

A rich young man knelt before Jesus and put this question to him, 'Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' Jesus said to him, 'You know the commandments'. And he said to him, 'I have kept all these since my earliest days.' Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him and he said, 'You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven; then come and follow me'. But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth. (Mark 10,21-22) {/xtypo_quote}

Faith through action CASE STUDIES

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