The roads to a united world

 
In the midst of many initiatives in the field of social responsibility occurring during the 23rd United World Week (1st – 10th May), organised by the young people of the Focolare, we review the inspiration behind it put to them by Chiara Lubich at the 1985 Genfest.

The unity of the world. My dear young people, is our attention so distracted by the events we are immersed in day after day, that we do not see how our age is characterized by tension, by wars, by guerrilla warfare, even by the threat of nuclear destruction, by disunity of all kinds, by acts of terrorism, kidnappings, by all kinds of evil, all generated by the lack of love and mutual understanding among people? Do we not see that to speak of unity today is almost like speaking of a utopia? …

But, thank God, these are not the only characteristics of our times. There is something more we have to consider. […] The world is undoubtedly moving towards unity. Unity is its destiny or, better still, it is God’s plan for the world. […]

We will answer your questions not only with words but, after this Genfest, with life. We will walk with determination along the various roads that offer solutions to the divided world by uniting it.

The various roads, to give a few examples, are the roads to unity among generations, among ethnic groups and nations, between east and west, between north and south; the road to unity among Christians of various denominations, among the faithful of different religions; the road to unity between rich and poor through a communion of goods; between nations at war in order to reach peace; the road to unity also between humankind and nature; the road to unity with those who are indifferent, with the lonely, with those who suffer in any way at all; the road to development, to progress; the road to unity among various spiritual movements, among lay associations; among persons of different ideologies and cultures and so on.

As you can see, some of these are roads that young people have already taken because they feel naturally inclined to do so.

They want to walk along these various ways, by first situating themselves squarely in the Way par excellence. […] the way that is Christ. He said of himself, “I am the Way”.[1]

What must we do to be grafted onto this Way which will enable us to bear fruit as we go along the other ways? We must be Jesus, another Jesus. […] By living the word, all the Christian life sowed in us at baptism will fully blossom. Young people of all Churches and Christian communities will be able to join us in living this word. The word in many of its expressions (this has been our experience) is accepted also by young people of other religions and by those in good faith who consider themselves atheists.

The word will shape all of you into one block, making you strong and unbreakable. […]

If you are faithful, if you spread throughout the world as many other Jesus, so to say, then the program, “That all may be one”, will not be a dream; it will be a reality. And your contribution will bring us closer and closer to this reality.

A springtime will blossom in the world. We will see miracles. Christ’s words will be fulfilled in you, “Whoever believes in me will do the works I do and greater works than these”.[2]

Extracts from Chiara Lubich’s talk at the Genfest in Rome 30th March 1985

[1].          John 14:6.

[2].          John 14:12.

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