August Word of Life

 
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

The prophet Jeremiah was sent by God to the people of Israel who were experiencing the pain of exile in Babylon. They had lost the key elements of their identity as the chosen people: their land, the Temple and the Law…

However, the prophet’s words pierce through this sense of pain and loss. It is true that Israel has been unfaithful to the covenant of love with God and this has led to destruction; but then, out of God’s eternal and unfailing love comes the proclamation of a new promise of freedom, salvation, and a renewed covenant. 

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

The eternal and unfailing nature of God’s faithfulness is a quality of his love. He is the Father of every human being, a Father who is the first to love; and his commitment is forever. Hisfaithfulness touches each one of us and allows us to entrust to him every worry that might hold us back. This eternal and patient love also helps us grow and improve our relationship with him and with others.

We are well aware that our commitment to love God and our neighbours is not yet constant, although it is sincere. However, his faithfulness to us is freely given, anticipating our needs, regardless of the ‘service’ we give. With this joyful assurance, we can go beyond our limited view of things and start out on the journey again each day, becoming witnesses to this ‘motherly’ love.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

God’s way of looking upon humanity also reveals a wonderful plan to make all people become one family; this plan reaches fulfilment in Jesus. In fact, he bore witness to his trust in God’s love through his word, and above all, with the example of his life.

He made it possible for us to imitate the Father’s love for all (Mt. 5:43). He showed us that the vocation of every man and woman is to contribute personally to building relationships of acceptance and dialogue.

How can we live the word of life for this month?

Chiara Lubich invites us to have a mother’s heart: ‘A mother always welcomes, always helps, always hopes, and smooths over everything… In fact, the love of a mother is very similar to the love of Christ which St Paul spoke about. If we have a mother’s heart, or, more precisely, if we decide to have Mary’s heart, the heart of the Mother par excellence, we will always be ready to love others in all circumstances and to keep the Risen Lord alive in us… If we have the heart of this Mother, we will love everyone and not only the members of our own Church, but also other people’s Churches. Not only Christians, but also Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and people of all faiths. We will love all people of good will and every person who lives on this earth.’

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

A young bride, who started living the Gospel with her family members said: ‘I experienced a joy I never had before and wanted to share this love outside the four walls of our house. For example, I remember rushing to the hospital to visit the wife of a colleague who had attempted suicide. I had known for some time that there were difficulties, but being absorbed in my own problems, I had not bothered to help her. But then I felt her suffering was my own and I could not rest until the situation that had driven her tothat point was resolved. This experience marked the beginning of a change in my mentality. I understood that, if I love, I can be a tiny reflection of God’s love for everyone I meet.’

How would it be if, sustained by God’s faithful love, we also freely chose to have this inner attitude in the presence of everyone we meet during the day?

Letizia Magri

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