To better understand what to do for others, Jesus invites us to put ourselves in their shoes; just as He did, when, out of love for us, he took on our human nature
Are you doing it for yourself or for others?
I found myself in a strange situation: I prayed every day, I attended Mass regularly, I was engaged in works of charity… and yet I didn’t have a living faith. It was as if a veil was preventing me from seeing clearly. One day, as I was accompanying my grandmother to the doctor, we got into a profound discussion; knowing how strong her faith was, I told her the state of my soul. She looked me in the eye and said: “Son, everything you do, do you do it for yourself or for others?” That simple question shocked me and called for a complete change of situation! I began to reflect, noting that even acts of charity were done out of a sense of duty. Now and then, I would visit an old man. When I visited him after that encounter with my grandmother, instead of talking about paperwork or medicine, I asked him what was in his heart. He told me about the war, the comrades that had died, his wife’s illness… At the end, he thanked me for the great gift he said he had received that day.
(U.R. – Argentina)
Having fallen in love with a colleague, my wife left me with four children. I could not show them my despair as this would made their suffering worse but I could not help wondering where I had gone wrong. My own faith was being tested. Now the challenge was to minimise the impact of this drama on the children and make sure that she did not feel judged by them.
Sometimes I would bring her our youngest child of four years old, sometimes I would make sure she attended parent meetings with the other children’s teachers. Slowly, a situation arose in which it seemed as if the mother, despite living away from home, somehow continued to be present in the family. But when she asked for a divorce, I felt like I was back at zero. I had to take a new step with the children. It was the oldest who, seeing me sad and thoughtful one day, gave me courage by saying: “Dad, don’t worry. We’re learning to take charge of life.”
(B.d.P. – Croatia)
The baby grow
Used to having money, clothes, luxury ever since I was a child, I gradually had to drastically reduce my expenditure after the wedding. A few days ago I received an extra sum of money from work: I immediately thought about our baby that was about to be born and the baby grow I could buy him. But then, remembering how many poor people there are in the city, I told myself that the money could be used to help some of them. For the birth of our baby I received loads of second-hand clothes as a gift. Of course, I would have liked a brand new baby grow, but the things I received out of love were much more valuable and beautiful to me.
(Anita – Venezuela)
Edited by Stefania Tanesini
(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, anno VI, n.2, march-april 2020)