The phrase “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (Mt 22:21) contains an imminent request to live out our faith radically and this is what loving really means: to do the will of God who gives us everything and to do it wholeheartedly; recognizing His voice amid the deafening noise of the world and choosing it as the best way forward in everyday life.
With the poor in the peripheries
Moved by the situation of squalor and poverty of many families in our area and stimulated by the Word of God, a group of us submitted a proposal to the religious and civil authorities and took action to dedicate ourselves to children in particular in the peripheries. First, some mothers who lived in huts offered to help us for families even poorer than themselves. Our service started by registering and weighing children from zero to five years old, educating mothers on alternative feeding (low cost and high nutritional value), vaccinations, breastfeeding and education. It was only a first step to dealing with more serious problems: unemployment, alcoholism, abandonment, hunger, lack of housing, drugs, poverty. Every weekend, we go with our families to help those who live in the huts to offer them, in cooperation with other Christians, better living conditions. Our communion of goods contributes to improving the quality of life of these children so that they don’t just survive but can have a dignified life.
(M.N. – Brazil)
An unexpected job
Some time ago, a couple with five children came to live in our town. The father was out of work and had to move house for health reasons. His profession was compatible with my husband’s and we had been promised an important job, so we decided to hire him in our company. However, a few months later, the work we were expecting didn’t come through and we began to worry about the future. At that time, the Word of the Gospel that we were trying to live invited us to pray because, the commentary said, there are two temptations: “The presumption of managing on our own and the fear of not making it. Whereas Jesus assures us that the heavenly Father will ensure that we have the strength of the Spirit if we watch and ask Him with faith.” So we turned to Him with faith, entrusting him with the new situation, sure that he would look after it. The next day, my husband unexpectedly received an important job. Since then, we have always had work and the newcomer continues to work with us.
(M.R. – Switzerland)
During the first trimester of school, I had shared my scholarship with another student who could not afford a canteen card because he came from a very poor family. At the beginning of the second trimester, he told me that his parents needed money urgently and he asked me to lend him a certain amount. I had set that sum aside for books and food, but out of friendship I decided to oblige him. Then I didn’t see him around for a few days, while previously he always came to talk to me. I started to worry and even get angry. Then, suddenly, the Gospel came to my aid with the thought that it is right to help a neighbour who is worse off than me. When I calmed down, I went to visit him at his house. As soon as we met, he told me that he hadn’t shown up again because he was ashamed of not yet having the money to pay me back and he didn’t know what to do. I reassured him, saying that he could pay me back whenever it was possible and that otherwise it would be fine anyway: the most important thing was that we should remain friends.
(J.B. – Africa)
compiled by Maria Grazia Berretta
(taken from “The Gospel of the Day”, Città Nuova, year IX – no.1 September-October 2023)