October’s Word of Life invites us to “be the first to love every person we meet, telephone, write to or live with. Our love should be practical and concrete, persevering, generous and patient.
Waking up during the night
“I work in a school, whereas my wife, Betty, stays at home with the children. They often wake up in the night and begin to cry. This is a burden for me. I try to hide beneath the covers, even covering my head so I don’t hear the noise. I tell myself that my wife should go and care for them alone. Considering that Betty continuously has to get up from bed each night to care for the children and reflecting on love of neighbor, I suddenly realized that my wife and children are my first and closest neighbours. Up until then my love had been only partial: I loved only when there were no difficulties involved. Then I decided to begin immediately. And that very night, when the children began to cry, I ran to help them sleep again. It was difficult, but I managed well. I did this for some time, until the little ones have ceased to awaken during the night.” B. – Uganda
“I’m a Muslim who escaped from Bosnia, where I left behind my Catholic husband. Two of my cousins had already fled to Split. One of them was expecting a baby; they asked me to help her and that’s why I’m in Dalmatia. I did everything I could to improve this situation. During that period, one day another woman came to stay in the small apartment,. She was ill and elderly. I was without strength. I missed my husband and family in Tuzla. . . When I couldn’t see any way forward, the woman who had welcomed us into her home invited us to a gathering in which I heard talk of the Gospel for the first time. I realized that by loving others I could change myself and the situations around me. So I went in search of other refugees in the city and a small group was begun that continued to grow. Together we were able to help each other to find medicines, send letters to relatives and care for the children. Now there are 87 of us. We feel like a true family, even though we are of different ethnic backgrounds, nationalities and religions.” T. – Bosnia
A seed of unity
“While in hospital for a little surgery, I read a book that my fiancé had given me. It contained experiences of people who were trying to live the Gospel. They were very beautiful, but I said to myself: “It’s impossible to really live like that.” Then she invited me to meet some of those people, and as I spoke with them I understood and saw that it was possible. From there a new path was opened for us. We married with the intention of forming a family that would be open to others. First I wasn’t religious even though I belonged to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, whereas Anna is Catholic. As I began to reflect more, I understood that in order to love my Church I should give a witness there. This is what I did. I made connections and now belong to the parish council. We’d like to show to our children and to everyone the beauty of the Christian faith by being a family that is a seed of unity.” D. J. K. – Germany
Soure: Il Vangelo del giorno (The Daily Gospel), (Città Nuova Publishing House, Rome. October 2013)