Jesus reveals that something new in the Gospel: the Father loves each of his children personally with an “overflowing” love and gives him/her the ability to enlarge their heart to their brothers and sisters. These are urgent and demanding words: to give what is ours; material goods, but also a welcome, mercy, forgiveness, and to give extensively in imitation of God.
In a satellite city near Brasilia, there is a very poor neighbourhood where for years we have been bringing not only material aid, human promotion, but also trying to spread the good news of Jesus. It is always amazing to see how these people discover God’s love and begin to help each other, sharing what little they have with those who have even less. They even offer their own hut. Faithful to the “give and it will be given to you”, a lady to whom we had delivered powdered milk for her children told us that she shared it with her neighbour who had nothing to give her children. That same day, to her surprise and joy, she received more powdered milk.
(H.I. – Brazil)
On certain festivals I give my four children some money to buy gifts for poor children. This year my youngest son asked me for more money: he had heard that his father was unemployed and could not give presents to his children with another woman. For me it was like a cold shower. My husband had abandoned us years earlier and the wound had remained. That night I cried a lot, I felt betrayed even by my boys. But maybe it was me who was wrong and the little one was teaching me a lesson. The next morning I increased his pocket money. Sometime later my children asked me to help their father find a job. It was the ultimate blow . They had never received a gift from him and now they were asking me to do this! Despite the painful memories, I understood that I had to put into practice Jesus’ command to love one’s enemies. It cost me but I did it. The joy I saw in the boys was indescribable. I thanked God for their generosity but also because they had given me the opportunity to remove from my heart a resentment that had tortured me for years.
(C.C. – Colombia)
Some months ago, when the major computer company I work for announced the laying off of 40% of its employees, I got a real shock. Thanks to that job, we didn’t lack anything in the family, not even the extras. How were we going to meet the house payments? What about health insurance? And so on… With Jennifer and our daughters we felt more responsible about our family economy. We were ready to sell the most valuable objects and make other possible sacrifices, we assumed we would become self-employed, considering our personal skills… Above all, we entrusted ourselves to God the Father, continuing to hope. On the day of the layoffs, 6500 of my colleagues lost their jobs. I would have liked to disappear so as not to watch; but then I stayed to share that moment with those who left. I do not know how it will end for me, but one thing is certain: this trial has united us more in the family. It has created a deep bond with other couples and has opened our eyes to the problems of others. We now experience what it is that really matters in life.
(Roger – USA)
I forgave my son’s killer
After my son was killed during a robbery, nothing made sense in my life anymore. Desperate for help, I attended a Gospel meeting. There I listened to a commentary on Jesus’ phrase: “Love your enemies”. Those words were like a rock for me. How could I forgive those who had killed my son? But in the meantime, a seed had been sown within me. As I attended that group, I felt the urge to forgive became more and more urgent. I wanted to find peace of heart. The Gospel still spoke of peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”. In the midst of my family’s tragedy, the decision to forgive finally prevailed. Now I can truly call myself a “daughter of God”. Recently I was invited to meet with my son’s killer, who had been arrested. I knew him. It was hard, but grace intervened. I did not feel hatred or resentment towards him. In my heart as a mother there was only great pity and the desire to entrust him to God’s mercy.
(M.A. – Venezuela)
edited by Stefania Tanesini
(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Citta Nuova, year VI, n.5, September-October 2020)