Living the Gospel: giving of ourselves for others

Loving first, selflessly, always, immediately and joyfully. This is an opportunity to incarnate the Art of Loving in our lives. It is from there that – as if drawn to it – fraternal communion springs forth, bringing new life and changing our world.

In the centre where I work, the number of requests decreased because of Covid, and many hours of the day were empty as a result. I obtained permission to help in a department of infected people. Other colleagues later followed my example.
One day, one of them confided to us that his way of serving had never been so humane and engaging. “Only now have I realized what a gesture of solidarity means, a caress, even if you have gloves on. I feel like I’ve discovered a more human dimension to my work. I would like my children to do this service, because it is a real school of life.”
(H., Czech Republic)

Staying close
When Pope Francis speaks of “closeness”, it seems to undo all the rules we have made for ourselves to live a certain way. For him, it’s all about the other person and our capacity to welcome them.
I was talking about this once in the office. One of my colleagues was contrary to the idea, since according to her it is precisely this no-rules attitude that is ruining the Church. I listened to her, astonished and discouraged by how certain she was in condemning the pope, despite being an intelligent woman and, in her own way, a practicing Catholic.
Since that day I avoided the subject, and whenever she would attack me with some article about the pope, I would try to deflect the conversation.
The day before yesterday, on the phone, she told me that she couldn’t come to work because of problems with her anorexic daughter. As soon as I could, I went over. In fact, the girl’s life was at risk.
My wife is a psychologist and, using various tricks, managed to spend time with her. Now the daughter is better, and she is often at our house.
My colleague wrote me a message. “Now I understand what the pope means by the word ‘closeness’.”
(C., France)

I’ll go
My elementary school teacher told us about a soldier, perhaps in the Alps, who was a bit exceptional: he would do any job, even the most unrewarding, saying to his superiors, “Vago mi” (I’ll go). This went on until “Vago mi” (as he was now nicknamed) never came back, killed in action.
That death, the end of a life lived with altruism, struck my imagination as a child. I wished I could have been like him. In short, “Vago mi” became my model of someone who spends his life for others.
And this was many years before I came across the one who gave his life for us and meaning to mine.
(Joseph, Italy)

Edited by Lorenzo Russo

From Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VII, n. 4, JulyAugust 2021).


1 Comment

  • Grazie per il servizio che fate, grande opera di evangelizzazione e direi anche di missione; si perchè come dicono i missionari del PIME, la missione inizia dalla porta di casa nostra. C’è tanto da fare nella nostra civiltà moderna, nei rapporti che ogni giorno intratteniamo con i colleghi di lavoro e con le persone che incontriamo nella nostra vita quotidiana, per cui, come dimostrato dai brani sopra riportati, tutti noi possiamo e dobbiamo essere coinvolti, nella vita di ogni giorno, in questa grande opera di testimonianza. Tutti e tre mettono in evidenza una diversità che è quella che dovrebbe sempre caratterizzare noi cristiani: testimoni di un amore e di un dono di se senza fine. L’amore spesso non è compreso, è frainteso, perchè spesso da scandalo, è l’esatto opposto di ciò a cui la mentalità del nostro tempo vorrebbe uniformarci con gli slogan che ormai vediamo ovunque e con gli standard di vita che ci vengono proposti dalla televisione, dai giornali, dai social media. Anche i discepoli spesso restavano stupiti dell’amore di Cristo e sconvolti da quello che Lui faceva, perchè allora, come oggi, il vero amore, che significa dono gratuito di se stessi senza condizioni, era sconvolgente, stupiva e cambiava le vite di tutti coloro che per un imperscrutabile disegno di Dio avevano la possibilità di incontrarlo.
    Aver letto i tre articoli è stato un buon modo per iniziare questa giornata. Grazie di cuore.

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