Living the Gospel: Following Jesus

September’s Word of Life is rather demanding. It requires forgetting one’s self in order to give precedence to the other person, as a necessary condition for being true disciples of Jesus.

20170904-01The Drunken Man
I saw a rift between a drunk man and a group of kids who were disturbed by him. They suddenly pounced upon and began to beat him. It all happened so quickly. With a lot of difficulty, he managed to get back on his feet. He was spitting blood, and lost two teeth. He became hostile and threatened revenge. Then, it was just me and that despised, badly reduced and discarded man in whom Jesus was asking to be loved. I overcame a bit of fear. What if he turned on me, infuriated as he was? I provided him with hadkerchief to stop the bleeding. Then, I tried to show some concern for him. He told me about his health problems and other woes. I got him the cigarette he was trying to get; but mostly I tried to steer him away from the idea of taking revenge on those boys. It wasn’t easy to calm him down. I was also worried that those guys might come back and there would be more violence. I sat there and listened to him until he decided to go home.
O. (Italy)

Sometimes I go through moments of rebellion, but then the desire to believe in the love of God and of my brothers and sisters prevails. I try not to let myself be beaten by the suffering. I try not to stop and focus only on me and be a burden on others. When I lost my hair because of the chemo, my friend Bruna said: “Your hairs are counted. Give them to Jesus like flowers, as a sign of your love.” Even my illness has meaning and for that I thank God.
Brigitte (Germany)

My father worked in a shipyard. During a strike, in the 1980s, he was clubbed to death. After that, our life changed, although I was too young to realize it. We only bring it up with my Mum when some award arrives or on the anniversary of some historical anniversary. She had instilled in us the value of peace and of never taking revenge. Now, as an adult, I know that the value to be transmitted to the new generations is precisely this treasure that comes from God, but begins in me, from me.
S. K. (Poland)

Surprising Serenity

Perfino la bidella, che aveva cambiato modo di rivolgersi a me, è diventata oggetto di nuova stima. A una collega che mi ha chiesto come facevo a mantenermi serena dopo tutto quello che mi era capitato, ho spiegato che come cristiana trovo nella verità una forza e una fonte di pace che mi dà il coraggio di ricominciare. I giorni successivi ero sorpresa io stessa dall’atmosfera distesa che regnava fra tutti.I had forgotten to inform the school office that I was going away with the children, and when I would return. Therefore, upon our return, a series of rebukes would be awaiting. It was humiliating to admit my mistake in front of my colleagues and director, also because they were all looking on me with hostility, even the ones who had always been so pleasant towards me. But drawing strength from the Gospel, I accepted defeat, trying to tranform it into love for everyone. I imagined how I would feel if I were in their shoes, and I understood their disapproval. Even

J.L. – Ungheria



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