Living the Gospel: 'I will give you rest'/ focolare.org

This month’s Word of Life invites us to put ourselves at the service of others, especially those in difficult situations.

The mayor
Against my wishes, my husband became a mayoral candidate, not out of ambition, but purely for the sake of of serving the community. My resistance to the idea came from the fear that, since our town can be a difficult place, such a commitment could have negative repercussions for our family. But any argument or ultimatum of mine had no effect.

One Saturday morning I saw in the paper that he had signed up to be a candidate. I started feeling really sick. The day after at mass, the Gospel spoke of the fruitless fig tree. In that moment I felt like that fig tree, not able to bear fruit. And not just that: my attitude was also blocking my husband from bearing fruit for the community. I understood that Jesus was asking me to give him even my family, despite my fears.
When I returned home, I told my husband and our daughters my experience, and we all agreed to support him. Ever since that moment I have been at this side for all the rallies and speeches, and now that he is mayor I continue to do so for all his official visits. (F.D. – Italy)

Tensions at home
My husband and I had just got home, tired and stressed. Losing control, we got into a violent argument, to the point that it seemed that our marriage had come to an end. I then tried to mend the situation, but he remained quite angry at my way of doing things.
The day after we were meant to go to help a poor family. But wouldn’t that have just been an easy way out if we didn’t first reestablish peace and harmony with my husband? Even though all my good reasons kept coming to mind continually, I tried to overcome them. On top of that, he was going to an important meeting that same day.
Overcoming my fear of how he would react, I called him and asked his forgiveness. All was forgotten, and I felt free and loved, and this also gave meaning to my giving to others. (F. – Panama)

Shards
I can see the street from my office, and one day I saw Michael pass by. He’s homeless and usually argues with everyone when he’s drunk.
This time he stopped and picked up the remains of a broken bottle and put it in the garbage. Then he moved on. I had noticed the glass too, but had not gathered up the pieces because I was in a hurry.
What a lesson, and from someone who is on the margins of society! I imagined Michael at the Gospel’s Last Judgment, with Jesus saying: “Enter into my kingdom: you gathered the glass that could have hurt one of my brothers – you did it for me!” (P.O. – ltaly)

Dirty socks
In the locker room at the pool a disheveled elderly lady was seated on a bench, with some socks next to her that were pretty dirty. Everyone stayed clear of her, including me.
She was having a hard time putting on a singlet because her body was still wet, so I went over to help. Thankful, she asked me if I could also help her with her socks.
Oh my. Really? Then I immediately had a thought: “Jesus, it is you in her who are coming to meet me.” I kneeled down and helped her with her socks and shoes. Even today I can still remember the joy I felt. (Rosemarie – Switzerland)

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