Jesus invites us to follow him, to make, like him, a gift of our existence to the Father; he proposes that we imitate him in gently meeting the needs of every person with whom we share a small or large part of our day, with generosity and selflessness.
Ever since his leg was amputated, our neighbour would turn to my husband for any help he might need. Even though his son lived nearby, he did not care about his parents, with whom he held old grudges. One day we all agreed as a family and decided to celebrate our neighbour’s birthday at our house, inviting his son’s family and others from the neighbourhood. In the friendly atmosphere that was created, some of them offered to help. Some took care of the garden, others overhauled the car, others found time to help with the cleaning. Faced with such generosity, even the neighbour’s son couldn’t resist helping out. Since then, we have continued to celebrate birthdays and other occasions at home. The grudges have disappeared. The children have also gained from this, and they now go to their neighbour’s house to listen to fairy tales and learn how to work with wood.
(F. F. – Slovakia)
One Sunday I was cycling along a mountain path when the sight of rubbish left behind by someone having a picnic made me indignant. This neglect of nature, God’s gift, seemed intolerable to me and instead of continuing, I started to collect the rubbish. But after that, other rubbish appeared: plastic and glass bottles, empty bags, wrapping from bread, crisp wrappers… What should I do? I changed my plans and my bicycle trip became an ecological clean up. A family walking by, seeing me at work, without saying anything, joined in to help, including the children who seemed to be having a great time when they spotted a piece of paper or a bottle along the path. I soon made friends with the family, and we came up with the idea of future litter picks in which we could involve anyone interested in helping out. And so, on other Sundays our outings became trail cleaning. It’s always like that, you just have to start.
(D. H. – Germany)
Forgetting the keys
I was cycling when I realised that I had taken my house keys with me, which we usually leave in a place in the garden. My wife was at work and our child would not be able to get in after school. All I could do was bring the keys back. On the way back, slumped on a bench, I recognised a friend of mine. He was drunk and complaining of a sprained foot, which was very swollen. I picked him up and took him to his parents, who were fortunately not far away. As they were elderly and unable to accompany their son to the emergency room, I took care of him. First, however, I went home to put the keys back. While we were waiting for our turn at the hospital, my friend, who had regained his senses, told me about his wife and children who did not accept him. From that day on, providing for my friend and his parents became a regular task for me. I also contacted his family: they now seemed more willing to be reconciled. Forgetting the keys was providential.
(R. N. – Belgium)
Edited by Stefania Tanesini
(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VII, n.1, January-February 2021)