The start of the year is a good opportunity to begin again in interpersonal relationships. In the following text Chiara Lubich proposes a radical strategy: a complete amnesty in our hearts to let Jesus dwell there and create cells of unity in the world.
What I want to focus on today is unity. Unity must triumph – unity with God and unity among all people. The way to achieve this is to love everyone with that merciful love which characterized the Focolare at its beginnings, when we decided that each morning and all through the day we would see every person we met – at home, at school, at work, everywhere – as a new person, brand new, deliberately not remembering any of their shortcomings or faults, but covering everything over with love. That is exactly how this month’s Word of Life invites us to love: to forgive seventy times seven times; to reach out to everyone we meet with a complete “amnesty,” with universal forgiveness in our hearts; and then to “make ourselves one” with them in everything except sin and evil.
Why should we do this? To obtain the same wonderful results the Apostle Paul was seeking when he said: “For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. … I have become all things to all people“. (1 Cor. 9:19-22). If we “make ourselves one” with our neighbour, as Paul recommends, which will be easier when we have this forgiving attitude, we will be able to pass our Ideal on to others. And once this has been accomplished we can have Jesus present among us, the risen Jesus who promised to remain with us forever in his Church, and who allows us to almost see and hear him when he is in our midst.
This must be our main work: to live in such a way that Jesus may live among us – Jesus, who is victorious over the world. For if we are one, many will be one and the world will someday be able to witness unity. …
(Taken from a telephone conference call, Rocca di Papa, 15th October 1981)