Helping others, expecting nothing in return, doing it with faith. This also allows us to bring salvation, tenderly “touching” those who are suffering, in need, in darkness, in bewilderment.
Grandma had been particularly generous in giving me a substantial amount for my expenses. I had already worked out how to use that money when a friend told me about problems in his family: his father was unemployed and they could only manage one meal a day. Later, when I left him, carrying his pain with me, I remembered some experiences I had read in a book lying around the house. Some words of the Gospel, to which I had never paid attention, or rather, which I had never taken seriously, were quoted: “Give and it will be given to you”. What strange words, I said to myself, whoever uttered them could only be a madman … or a God! The word “Give” was hammering inside me. The next evening I went to see my friend and gave him everything I had in my wallet. He was surprised and happy. I felt an irrepressible joy. But there’s more. A few days later, I received an unexpected phone call from an important magazine: they agreed to publish some of my writings, for which they offered me a hefty fee.
(Vincenzo from Italy)
A very old patient was ranting and raving. Because of her age and health conditions, my colleagues and I decided to try to help her feel our closeness more. One morning, on behalf of all of us, I left a greeting on the bedside table. When I went to her for routine checks, she was serene. She told me: “My son, last night I felt death near and I thought that I would take all my wickedness with me” – and taking my hand – “I ask you and everyone for forgiveness because you have never judged me”. In short, she seemed a different person. That old lady helped us to live our service better.
(KV – Hungary)
The “Bundle” Project
With the raging pandemic, some seasonal workers in a large agricultural centre lost their jobs. When we heard about this, with some friends from Southern California (USA) we started a project called “Bundle”. It consisted of collecting clothes, books, board games, small appliances and other useful items, which could be redistributed to those families in need and so alleviate some of their expenses and mitigate the hardship imposed by the circumstances. This sharing initiative, which was lived with great enthusiasm, has not only engaged our community, but also involved work colleagues and other people who know us. In only three days, we were able to fill a van with what was collected and deliver to communities in central California. In return, we received a box of cherries which we in turn we shared with our friends and neighbors. The experience us galvanized us and made us happy. It was to see the “give and it will be given to you” of the Gospel fulfilled.
(GS – USA)
Compiled by Lorenzo Russo
(from The Gospel of the Day, New City, year VII, no.4, July-August 2021)