Proclaiming the Word is not only about speaking. It also involves practical actions that bear witness to belief in everyday life, in relationships with others and with creation. It is a mission: it invites us to be brothers and sisters – the image of the Kingdom of God in our time.

Artisans of peace
Burundi is a very beautiful country, but after the civil war thousands of people from different ethnic groups emigrated and we are now scattered all over the world. The Tutsis fled from the Hutus and vice versa.  In addition, there is strong regionalism that creates opposition between people from the south and those from the north  particularly when it comes to sharing power. So what can we Christians do? Here in Canada, my husband and I thought of creating a little “new world”, so to speak, within the Burundian community.  By using various cultural and sporting events, we give not only our compatriots but also other Africans and our friends and neighbours in Quebec the opportunity to meet around a traditional meal, a drink and good music. Our main objective is to contribute to the fulfillment of our Lord’s will: ‘That all may be one’. We are convinced that every Christian must contribute, in his or her own way, to the realisation of this project. Now several Burundians are in permanent contact and shake hands with each other, something they did not do before.
Florida K. – Canada

A shared decision
One day, noticing that something was bothering a colleague, I approached her and gently asked if something was wrong. She confided in me that she had decided to take her sister who was  suffering from terminal cancer in her home. She told me that her sister needed special food, including a very expensive type of milk.  When I heard that,  I felt I wanted to contribute. I could draw on my account, sure that my husband would agree, but this time I wanted to make the decision with him. I had not always done this in the past, especially for small expenses. But since we had begun to put  the words of the gospel into practice with more conviction, we had become more sensitive to the fact that “it is better together”. So, after we both got home from work, I told him about my colleague and the help I wanted to give her. He immediately supported me. Not only that, he suggested giving twice the amount I had planned. There was an expression of joy on his face. This shared awareness of our neighbour’s  suffering  made us feel more united.
Thanh – Vietnam

“Optimising” relationships
I am often tempted to “optimise my time” according to my schedule but then I am left feeling disappointed when something unexpected happens and I can’t complete the tasks in the order planned.  Unexpected events, however,  often convey God’s will and bring a different quality to the day. More and more, I am realising that, in the complexity of everyday life, the best attitude is to “optimise relationships” with every neighbour I meet. And here, haste is the great enemy! So I try to stop, for example, with the pensioners downstairs, or with the neighbour on the landing who was recently discharged from hospital. I stop to say “good morning” to the resident under house arrest, whom many people avoid out of fear, and I tell  him that today the water will be cut off in the whole neighbourhood because of maintenance work.
Ciro – Italy

Edited by Maria Grazia Berretta

(taken from Il Vangelo del Giorno, Città Nuova, year VIII, n.2, March-April 2022)

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