“St Paul tells us that mutual love is a debt, and so we must be the first in loving as Jesus was with us. This type of love takes the initiative, it doesn’t wait or put it off for some other time.” In the following experiences, simple events from daily life, there emerges the choice of concrete love with a capacity for understanding, anticipating, being patient, trusting, persevering and generous.
The aunt who was erased. “I have an auntie whom I loved very much. During school holidays I would go and work on her farm. I was her favourite niece, but when I married things began to change. She never wanted to come to my house and never met my children. I was so angry that for fifteen years I never put foot in her house. I had totally erased her from my life. Recently, while reading the Gospel I came across the words: Love your neighbor. I said to myself that I was missing something important, forgiveness for my aunt. I returned to the village and convinced my mother to accompany me to her house, because I didn’t even remember the way. When we reached the house, I felt like the Prodigal Son. We both wept tears of joy. She happily accepted what I had brought for her. It was difficult to say goodbye to each other, and she greeted me over and over again. Peace had returned to us, and now I try to always keep the flame of affection burning in my family and around me.” S. P. (Africa)
Hospitality. “We received a letter from our married son, asking us for hospitality, although not explaining what was pushing him to leave his family and come back to us. We were very bewildered, but, in spite of all the questions and concerns that tormented us, we began to prepare a room for him, and welcomed him with serenity and respect for his pain. After a while he began to open up to us, sharing his difficulties and problems with us. We listened with open hearts, without inquiring or giving advice. Surrounded by love and trust he was able to reflect in peace and arrive at the decision to return home. Perhaps God had made us of us to help him put his family back together again.” N. C. L. (Peru)
Apres ski boots. “One morning a young Albanese woman knocked at our door, asking for some clothing and shoes. I began putting some things together as my children watched me going back and forth to the door. Then I saw my son Gianni’s favourite après ski boots sitting by the front door. I asked him why they were there: “Give them to the lady,” he replied, “for her children. Besides, it’s not going to snow anymore.” It was the middle of October. It’s really true that generosity begins in our children when they see it in us.” F. P. (Italy)
The bag. “Having immigrated to Europe, one day I noticed a lady on the road. She was carrying several heavy bags: “Madam,” I said, “can I help you?” “No,” she replied, “I can manage alone.” “But I’d like to help you.” “Very well, take this bag.” She invited me to her home and offered me supper. Through this family that welcomed me so well, I was able to find a job. People like me often have concrete problems: finding a job, a home, a means of support; but sometimes there is only need of someone to chat with, for a telephone number you can call in the difficult moments. the solidarity I’ve found among Christian families has made me realize that God is Father of all and loves everyone as his child.” L. E. Morocco
Source: The Gospel of the day, in October 2013, Città Nuova Editrice