To be peacemakers means to act with generosity, be in solidarity with those around us, go beyond and open paths that allow us to get closer to others – so they feel embraced as they are.
Not just any cake
A Muslim family lives in our building. For their feast at the end of Ramadan, we thought we would wish them well and bring them a cake (we had heard that this is the custom). Since they were not at home, we wrote a note and placed it and a package in front of their door. Later we met up with them. They had been away for the festivities, and upon returning had joyfully found the small gift. With a big smile, the husband thanked us, saying: ‘We have been in Switzerland for 25 years, and no one has ever wished us well. We were very, very pleased.’ In my heart, the joy doubled.
First a sandwich, then a hundredfold
I only had enough money in my pocket for one sandwich. As I left the sandwich shop, I noticed a lady looking hopefully at all those who were eating. She was certainly hungry and waiting for someone to offer. Since I could eat something later at home, I took my sandwich and gave it to her, making her happy. Then I took her to a greengrocer, whom I asked if he could give her some fruit that I would pay for the next day. Instead he handed her a bag of fruit, free of charge. I was so happy to see how a hundredfold can come from a sandwich.
One coffee was all it took
After returning from a holiday, I was in for a surprise at work: a new employee, having completed his apprenticeship, had been placed in the same office as me. It wasn’t because he had invaded ‘my’ space, but from the very first moment I found him to be an unpleasant person because of his mannerisms, his talking about everything and everyone… Would I be able to work with him? And to think that I had returned refreshed, above all in spirit. In fact, with the whole family, I had participated in a retreat based on how to live the Gospel in everyday life. And here I was put to the test, working elbow to elbow with that ‘difficult’ guy. I was wondering how to love someone like that when an aroma of coffee came to me from afar… Idea! Without delay, I went to get two, one for myself and for him. Surprised by the unexpected gesture, my colleague asked, ‘How did you know I needed coffee of all things?’ Laughing, I joked that I was a fortune teller. From that simple act of kindness things changed, and we became truly friends afterwards.
J. M., Spain
Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta
(From Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VII, n.4, November–December 2021)