April 2001

These words, which St. Paul addresses to the community of Colossae, tell us that there is a world in which there reigns true love, full communion, justice, peace, holiness, joy; a world in which sin and corruption can no longer enter; a world where the will of the Father is perfectly fulfilled. It is the world to which Jesus belongs. It is the world he open to us by means of his resurrection, passing through the painful trial of the passion.
Not only are we called to this world of Christ, but we already belong to it through our baptism.
However, Paul knows that in spite of the condition of being baptized and therefore, of having risen with Jesus, our presence in the world exposes us to thousands of dangers, temptations and above all, to those “attachments” we necessarily fall into if our heart is not in God and in his teachings. We might become attached to things, to persons, to ourselves: our ideas, health, time, our rest, studies, work; our relatives, consolations or satisfactions… All things which are not God and so they must not occupy the first place in our hearts.
This is why Paul exhorts us:

«If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.»

What things is he referring to when he says “seek what is above”? Those values which Jesus brought on earth and which distinguish his followers from others. They are love, harmony, peace, forgiveness, fairness, purity, honesty, justice, and so on.
They are all those virtues and riches that the Gospel offers. With them and through them, Christians remain in the reality of being risen with Christ. Through them they can become immunized from the influence of the world, from the concupiscence of the flesh, from the devil.
But how can we “seek what is above” in our everyday lives? And how can we keep our heart anchored in heaven while living in the midst of the world?
Let’s allow ourselves to be guided by the thoughts and sentiments of Jesus who was always interiorly turned towards the Father and whose life reflected in every instant the law of heaven which is the law of love.

«If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.»

During this month in which we celebrate Easter, one practical way to live this sentence is to motivate all the various actions of our day with that art of loving which makes them precious and fruitful.
For example, in dealing with the people around us, let’s try to do for them would we would like others to do to us and to “make ourselves one” with them, bearing their burdens and sharing their joys.
Let’s not wait for others to take the first step toward us when harmony and agreement in our family and environment are at stake. Let’s take the first step ourselves.
And because all this is not easy humanly speaking, indeed, at times, it might seem to be impossible, we will have to look above and ask the risen Lord for the help he will not hesitate to give us.
In this way, by “seeking what is above” in order to live it on earth, we will be able to bring the kingdom of heaven into the small or large environment that the Lord has entrusted to us.

Chiara Lubich

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