July 2006

God’s love is universal. It embraces the whole universe and watches over the smallest of creatures. The poem that contains this Word of Life is a hymn to God who is “abounding in love,” who reaches out to every living being, drawn by the needs of each of us.
Here the person is portrayed in an attitude of prayerful request expressing a need for food and all the other necessities of life. God generously opens his hands to this gesture. God takes care of everyone, sustains those who are weak, and “lifts up all who are falling” (Ps 145:14). God leads those who are lost back to the right path.

«The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth» (Ps 145:18).

This is not a God who is absent, distant, or indifferent to the destiny of humanity and to the destiny of each one of us, and many times we experience this closeness. But at other times the distance seems enormous; we feel alone, insecure and lost in the face of situations that overwhelm us.
A sense of rebellion might overtake us, or feelings of aversion—if not hate—towards one of our brothers or sisters. Our hearts are heavy perhaps because of situations that have drawn on for years at home or at work—great or small disappointments, a trust betrayed, feelings of jealousy, envy or even oppression. Or we see ourselves being smothered by a world that seems hardened by unrestrained drive and ambition, and emptied of ideals, justice and hope.
“Lord, where are you?” our hearts cry out. “Do you really love me? Do you really love us? Why are you putting us through all this?”
And then the Word of Life reassures us: we are never alone on our journey through life.

«The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth»

These words are an invitation to revive our faith—God exists and loves me. I can and must reaffirm this with every action, in every situation: God loves me. Is there a person before me? I have to believe that through him or her God has something to tell me. Am I busy with a job? In that moment, I can continue to have faith in his love. Some suffering comes, yet I still believe that God loves me. Does a moment of joy arrive? God loves me.
God is here with me, always. God knows everything about me and shares my every thought, every joy, every desire, bearing together with me every worry and every difficult moment in my life.

«The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth»

How can we renew this conviction within us? Here are some suggestions.
God tells us how: by calling out to him! The Lord was already on Peter’s boat when a storm came up, but the disciples felt alone and helpless because he was sleeping. They called out to him: “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” (Mt 8:25) and he calmed the wind and the sea.
Jesus himself, on the cross, no longer felt close to his Father. He cried out to him with a most agonizing prayer: “”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). Then, believing in his Father’s love, Jesus abandoned himself to him, and the Father raised him from the dead.

How else can we revive our faith in his presence?
By seeking him in our midst. He promised to be present “where two or three are gathered” in his name (Mt 18:20). Let us then meet in the mutual love of the Gospel with all those who live the Word of Life. Let’s share how we have put it into practice and we will experience the fruits of his presence: joy, peace, light, and courage.
The Lord will dwell within each of us, and we will continue to feel him close by and working in our lives every day.

Chiara Lubich

 

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