Word of Life, November 2007

For the people of Israel, the journey of forty years in the desert was a period of trial and of grace. God purified their hearts and showed them his immense love.
When this people was about to enter the promised land, Moses recalled the experience they had lived. In a particular way, he reminded them of the greatest gift they had received together, the law of God, summed up in the Ten Commandments, and he invited them all to put the law into practice.
While he was delivering the instructions of God to them, Moses was deeply struck at the way God had drawn close to his people, had taken care of them, and had taught them rules for living filled with wisdom, and he exclaimed:

“What great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law…?”

God has written his law in the heart of every person and has spoken to all peoples in diverse ways and at different times. All people can rejoice for the love that he has shown to each one of them. But it is not always easy to grasp God’s plan for humanity. This is why God chose a small nation, the people of Israel, to reveal his plan more clearly. Finally, he sent his Son, Jesus, who revealed the face of God in its fullness by showing him as Love and by condensing his law into the single commandment of love for God and for one’s neighbor.
The greatness of a people and of every single person is expressed in giving their assent to the law of God with their own personal “yes.”
This assent to God’s law does not lock us into an artificial superstructure or, even less, into alienation from ourselves; it does not mean resignation on our part to a lot that is more or less good, nor to submit to a certain fate, as if to say: it was ordained to be so, so it must be, it’s inevitable.
No, it is the best thing that we can imagine for ourselves. It means to collaborate in bringing about the remarkable plan that God has for each one of us and for all humanity: to make us all one family, united in love, and to bring us to live his same divine life.
So then we too can exclaim, as Moses did:

“What great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law…?”

How should we live this Word of Life throughout the month?
By going to the heart of the divine law that Jesus synthesized into the single precept of love.
If we review the Ten Commandments given to us by God in the Old Testament, we can see that by truly loving God and neighbor, we can observe them all and to perfection.

Is it not true that those who love God refuse to let any other gods enter their hearts?
Is it not true that those who love God speak his name with reverence and never in vain?
Is it not true that those who love God are happy to dedicate at least one day a week to the One they love the most?
Is it not true that those who love each neighbor cannot but love their own parents? Is it not clear that those who love other people do not set out to rob them, or to kill them, or to take advantage of them for their own gain, or to witness falsely against them?
Is it not true that such people’s hearts are already full and satisfied, and that they certainly do not covet goods or a spouse belonging to someone else?
This is how it is: whoever loves does not commit sin but observes all of God’s commandments.

I experienced this at various times during my travels, while in contact with different peoples and ethnic groups. I remember above all the strong impression that the Bangwa people of Fontem, Cameroon, made on me, when in 2000 they received in a new way the invitation to love.
During the day, every once in a while, let’s ask ourselves if our actions are shaped by love. If this is the case, our life will not be meaningless; it will be a contribution to the fulfillment of God’s plan for humanity.

Chiara Lubich

 

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