Living the Gospel: abiding in love


Jesus invites us to recognise how God’s love means that he is always close to us and he suggests ways in which we can respond and act accordingly: we can discover the way to reach full communion with the Father by doing his will.

The Hurricane
The images on the TV showed the places hit by the hurricane and left isolated. Our families lived there and so you can imagine the anxiety that we seminarians felt. The Word of Life of that month seemed very apt because it urged us to have faith. United, we prayed for our loved ones and we were given permission to leave the seminary the following day to go and find them. But that night the capital was also hit hard: flooded roads, collapsed bridges, no electricity…. But our seminary was still standing. We set off anyway: during that journey on foot or by makeshift means, in rafts or tied to ropes to overcome the resistance of the torrents, we were forced to deviate countless times. And finally, we came to our country… it was unrecognisable! Where there used to be countryside, there was now a lake. After embracing our loved ones (they had lost everything, but they were safe!), we offered our services to the parish priest to help with emergency services. The new Word proposed for that month seemed to be addressed precisely to us, to give us courage and to share it with others: “Blessed are the afflicted…”.

(Melvin – Honduras)

 

The umbrella
I believe that Christ is behind every poor and marginalised person and is asking to be loved and so I try not to miss opportunities to do so. For example, in the café near my home I noticed a very poor person who we had nicknamed Pen: he was soaking wet because it was raining that day. I knew that that he had tuberculosis, and so, overcoming some resistance to being seen in his company, I invited him home to find him something dry to put on. My parents were amazed and incredulous. “Dad, we could use some clothes…”. Dad wasn’t very enthusiastic at first, but then he procured a pair of trousers while I found a jacket. But the rain didn’t seem to be stopping… And I said, getting back into the swing of things: “Dad, what if we gave them an umbrella as well?”  We found one too. The  man was happy, but I was even happier, because we had worked together to help him. But it didn’t end there. A few days later, Pen came back to return the umbrella. Actually, it wasn’t the one we had given him, it was much nicer. What had happened was that our umbrella had been stolen, and someone had given him another one. He wanted to give it back to us.

(Francesco – Italy)

 

Love cannot be explained with words
Shortly after her birth, Mariana was diagnosed with a severe malformation of the brain. She would never be able to speak or walk. But God asked us to love her just as she was and,  with trust, we threw ourselves, so to speak,  into his Fatherly arms. This child lived with us for just four years; we never heard her say the words “Daddy” or “Mummy”, but in her silence her eyes spoke, with a shining light. We could not teach her to take her first steps, but she taught us to take our first steps in love, in the renunciation of ourselves in order to love. Mariana was a gift from God for our entire family: we could sum it all up in one phrase: love cannot be explained with words.

(Alba – Brazil)

edited by Lorenzo Russo

 

(Taken from  “Il Vangelo del Giorno”, Città Nuova, VII, no.3, May – June 2021)

 

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