January 2013

 
‘Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” ’ (Mt 9:13).[1]
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Audio files:  2013-01.ogg  /  2013-01.mp3


‘… I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’  Do you remember when Jesus said these words? While he was having dinner one day, some publicans and persons of ill-repute came and sat at the table with him. As soon as the Pharisees noticed this, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Upon hearing this, Jesus replied:

‘Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” ’

Jesus is quoting the prophet Hosea (Hosea 6:6), which shows that he likes the idea it contains. In fact, it is the principle he himself follows. It expresses the primacy of love over any other commandment, over any other rule or precept.

This is Christianity: Jesus came to say that what God wants from you, in your relationships with others – whether men or women – before anything else is love, and that this will of God has already been proclaimed in Scripture as the words of the prophet show.

Love is the agenda of life for all Christians, the basic law of their actions, the yardstick of their behaviour. Love must always come before other laws. Indeed, love for others has to become the firm foundation on which a Christian validly puts into practice every other principle.

 ‘… I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’

Jesus wants love, and mercy is one of its expressions. He wants Christians to live like this, above all else because God is like this. In Jesus’ eyes, God is, in first place, the Merciful One, the Father who loves everyone and who makes the sun rise and rain fall on the good and the bad.  Because Jesus loves everyone, he is not afraid of associating with sinners, and in this way he reveals to us who God is.

If God, then, is like this, if Jesus is like this, you too must have the same feelings.

‘… I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’

‘… and not sacrifice.’ If you do not love your neighbour, your worship will not be pleasing to Jesus. He does not welcome your prayers, your Church-going, your offerings, if they do not flower from a heart at peace with everyone, rich with love towards all.

Do you remember the extremely powerful words of the Sermon on the Mount? ‘So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift’ (Mt 5:23-24).

These words tell you that the worship most pleasing to God is love of neighbour which should be the basis even of worshipping God.

If you wanted to give a present to your father while you were angry with your brother or your sister (or your brother or your sister were angry with you) what would your father say? ‘Make peace between you and then come and give me anything you want.’

But there is more. Love is not only the basis of Christian living. It is also the most direct way of being in communion with God. We are told so by the saints, the witnesses of the Gospel who have gone before us, and it is experienced by Christians who live their faith. If they help their brothers and sisters, above all the needy, their devotion grows, their union with God is strengthened, they feel that a bond exists between them and the Lord, and this is what gives most joy to their lives.

‘… I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’

How can you live this new Word of Life? Do not discriminate between the people you are in touch with, do not treat anyone as less important, but offer everyone as much as you can give, imitating God the Father. Patch up minor or major disagreements which are displeasing to heaven and bring bitterness to your life. As Scripture says, do not let the sun set on your anger with anyone (see Eph. 4:26).

If you behave like this, all you do will be pleasing to God and will remain in eternity. Whether you are working or resting, whether you are playing or studying, whether you are with your children or going for a walk with your wife or husband, whether you are praying or making sacrifices, or fulfilling the religious practices of your Christian vocation, everything, everything, everything is raw material for the kingdom of heaven.

Paradise is a house we build here and dwell in there. And we build it with love.

Chiara Lubich


[1]                  See Hosea 6:6

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  1. marleide ferreira tavares

    obrigado poi estava precisando ouvir esta mensagem ,deus e maravilhoso

    Reply
  2. Yves Bizu

    Merci maman chiara pour ta parole. Merci infiniment maman

    Reply
  3. deusiane cintia oliveira

    eu entendo oque diz essa parte do evangelio so que vou causar dor e junto cxom essa dor lembrancas desastrosas de minha vida so que se fosse so eu a sofrer os danos tudo bem mas meu filho de nove anos sofrera tenho medo pois um dos meus filhos ja ta enternado na fazenda de guarara justamente por nao amar por primeiro eu acho que quando e um filho nosso vale sim o sacrificio pois o tempo de deus poe as coisas no lugar e quando chega a hora tudo se transforma ele vai crewscer e entender o porque de tudo pois por enquanto e so uma crianca inocente que nao deve pagar pelos erros dos adultos paz e bem deusiane sao joao del rei mg

    Reply
  4. fabrizio

    Grazie Signore per questa parola,che oggi posso mettere in pratica,confido in te

    Reply
  5. rafael

    obrigado por essa meditação. me ajudou a recomeçar a viver bem o momento presente.

    Reply
  6. antonio

    bellissimo tuutooooooooo

    Reply
  7. Juana Marta Portillo de Cuenca

    Interessantisimo

    Reply
  8. helena

    Deus seja louvado, que a graça e a paz estejam com todos; vejo e reflito sobre essas maravilhosas palavras eque elas estão fazendo e vão fazer uma grande diferenca na minha vida, preciso perdoar mais e me perdoar cada vez que me acovardo em dar o meu perdão em especial ao meu ex- marido, a amante dele (que foi o pivô da nossa separação matrimonial) e à ex-sogra que o acolheu mesmo afirmando ser minha amiga. Que Deus nos abençoe. Paz e bem H. Maria

    Reply
  9. patricia

    gracias por la palabra de vida, muy buena manera de empezar el año en la misericordia de Dios y en la oportunidad de ver a travez de la mirada de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo nuestra personas y a nuestros proximos.
    Dios les pague su labor y que en este año Dios les colme de todo aquello que mas necesitan.

    Reply
  10. Elena

    Questa P.V. è l’epilogo degli ultimi mesi della mia vita. Grazie a Dio sono riuscita a superare un limite che mi portavo dietro da mesi. Va, riconciliati, e poi vieni da me…Aggiusta piccoli o grandi screzi…Sono rinata, e si rinasce sempre, tutte le volte che lo permettiamo….e del Tuo infinito Amore mi rivesto e vado là dove Lui mi vuole.

    Reply
  11. ERNESTA EMILIANI

    Quante volte nella nostra vita abbiamo avuto la possibilità di donare misericordia, ma non sempre siamo riusciti a superare la barriera del nostro egoismo! Solo in occasioni come queste ci accorgiamo del poco che siamo capaci di donare! Ecco, vorrei chiedere al Signore che in questo nuovo anno mi dia il “coraggio e la forza” necessari per “combattere il mio IO”!

    Reply
  12. Mark

    In meditating on this month’s word of life, I suddenly had a thought. We know that God “…makes the sun rise and the rain fall on the good and the bad.” We also know that God is all powerful and that anything is possible with God. Although it is inconceivable to us, God COULD have made the sun to shine and the rain to fall ONLY on the good or ONLY on the bad if He had chosen to do so. Our tendency to want to punish those we perceive as ‘bad’ goes against God’s basic nature – which is to be love and mercy to all and for all. It must also be our path as well.

    Reply
  13. Rosellina

    Gesù è: Immmensamente misericordioso.Mi vede, mi dà misericordia nel presentare sempre domande per gli incarichi professionali, ma non mi fa scendere a compromessi a sacrifici indecorosi,mi amano e mi rispettano gli amici.Sia fatta sempre la sua volontà.
    Grazie,Rosellina

    Reply
  14. Kenneth

    Thank you for this WOL. How often have I failed to pay attention to these details. I pray to God for the GRACE to work towards being an authentic Christian.

    Reply
  15. Edeltraud Strugholtz

    Sono felice di questa bellissima Parola di Vita per iniziare l’Anno Nuovo. Sento in questa Parola l’amore infinito di Dio per me e per ognuno di noi: Gesù chiede misericordia, perchè è quello che Lui è in persona! “Dà” il Suo “Cuore” per la mia “miseria”.
    Chiedo a Lui l’aiuto che la misericordia non sia soltanto il mio atteggiamento in problemi puntuali, pur spesso mancato anche a quello, ma che diventi l’atteggiamento di base della mia vita.

    Reply
  16. Rocío Rada

    Oggi ci ho provato, ho cercato di liberarmi di pregiudizi verso chi mi sta vicino e invece mettermi ad amare concretamente, l’atmosfera è cambiata e posso dire che, ho potuto sperimentare dentro la gioia vera, un pizzico di paradiso. Grazie!

    Reply
  17. anna riva

    In questa Parola di Vita c,è la Luce per ogni difficoltà di rapporto con il nostro prossimo. Grazie a Chiara per la semplicita con cui ci conduce alla vera pace con i fratelli e con Dio! Grazie

    Reply
  18. Omar Francisco Marturano

    Gracias por este texto acerca del Amor.
    Haría una distinción acerca del Amor y del Amar: que no es lo mismo sentir el Amor que vivirlo; que practicarlo. Que no es lo mismo quedarse en la emoción que hacer acciones que el otro necesita para sentir que está siendo amado. (Así hizo aquel que que se detuvo y levantó al que estaba caído al costado del camino; y no lo dejó hasta estar seguro de que estaba en buenas manos).
    Como que el amor no termina en el estado emocional que nos hace sentir felices; sino, que se hace en las acciones que los otros sienten de nosotros: acciones de Amor.
    Me atrevo a decir que el Amor se puede aprender desde el hacer: muchos veces podemos tener Amor y no nos damos cuenta por temor a la acción, al Amar; otras veces, podemos creer que estamos amando y, no nos damos cuenta que tan sólo “nos estamos amando”.
    Si el Amor todo lo puede; debe ser a través de la acción y no sólo de la emoción. Gracias.

    Reply
    • angela zegarra

      totalmente de acuerdo…

      Reply
  19. carmelo guarini

    Fare esperienza di Dio il Misericordioso significa per noi cristiani un duplice patto: quello dell’amarsi a vicenda sino a dare la vita, quello del perdonarsi a vicenda per vedersi nuovi. Vedersi nuovi, invece di giudicarsi : porta tanti frutti. Una nuova evangelizzazione, non individuale ma “a corpo mistico” : noi piuttosto che io e tu.
    Grazie a tutti coloro che vivono già nel presente questa vita cristiana del futuro. Un anno nuovo nella gioia e novità di Dio.

    Reply