Gospel living: “Now I send you”


“It was almost lunchtime when a man knocked on the door of the parish to schedule a baptism. Since he wasn’t a parishioner, I had some questions. His situation was complex: his partner had given birth to his son, but his sister was the one who insisted that the child be baptized. I tried to take down his details quickly and said goodbye. As we were going out, I thought that I had treated him in too hurried a way. Having his address, and without thinking too much, I went to visit him, in an apartment that was very much in disarray. He was surprised and even alarmed: were there problems with the baptism? I reassured him that it was only to check that I had gotten down all the details. He and his partner opened up and invited me to join them for a modest lunch. So I got to know about people who are somewhat excluded, but above all it was a reminder of my only right: to be of service to others.”

(K.L. – Poland)

Testing ground

“I manage a gift shop in a popular part of the city. For me, every person who comes into the store is more than a customer. I consider the relationship important, beyond the fact that I need to make a sale. There are some who come at times to confide their problems. I listen, and if I can, try to tell them mine. My father makes fun of me a bit, saying, ‘It seems more like a confessional than a shop.’ The fact is, for me work is a testing ground for my being Christian.”

(Rachele – Italy)


“I work as the superintendent for two buildings, where people used to know each other only by their last names. Looking for chances to build relationships, I started telling a couple about life in the parish. The husband, despite not being a churchgoer, appreciated the gesture. I met someone from Thailand who thanked me by giving me chocolates. I then invited everyone to a barbecue: it was a successful evening that we repeated other times as well. Every once in a while I’d offer people returning from work a cup of coffee. These were simple gestures, but little by little some people felt they could confide in me more personal things. Like the tenant who considered prayer a waste of time. When I promised him to pray for him, he answered, ‘No one has ever spoken to me like this before now. I won’t forget it.’ An Italian couple, who were moving back to their country, before leaving invited all their neighbors to try some Italian specialties.”

(Maria Rosa – Switzerland)


“Coming out of school, I came across a dog on the sidewalk who was opening and destroying bags of garbage in search of food. I kept walking without thinking much of it, but something inside of me urged me to do something for others. Even though I was embarrassed, I went back and put the bags where they belonged. I had just turned the corner when I saw the garbage truck coming in the distance. I was happy because in our area it sometimes happens that the garbage collectors don’t pick everything up if they find things a mess.”

(M. B. – Argentina)

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