The year 2017 starts with a phrase of the Gospel, the “Word of life,” that pushes us towards the others to serve them with concrete acts. Here are some brief experiences from different countries.
LOVE WELCOMES THE OTHERS
We observed the first load of migrants landing in our city. Today the initial receptions was moved to the courtyard in front of the municipal gym next to our house, and so from my balcony I could watch the long lines of migrants with bare feet or in singlets and shorts, waiting to pass through the first checkpoint. Suddenly it became very windy and the temperature dropped. I could no longer stand still. I had to do something for these brothers already harshly tested. I went out and noticing an acquaintance among the members of the surveillance team, I learned from him that they were short of clothing. I returned home, and with my husband, we put together what could be useful for them, and after a few trips, delivered all to his friend, to be distributed. Other acquaintances whom we had notified, also came with more articles of clothing. It had started to rain, but almost all the migrants had now received some clothing. Many smiled at us saying “grazie” (thank you in Italian), perhaps one of the few words they knew.
Finding out that the father of a big and poor family needed an urgent operation but did not have the means to pay for it, I felt Jesus was urging me to do something. With some friends, I made the effort to raise funds, also involving also our colleagues at work. Once I had gathered the necessary amount, I accompanied the sick man to the hospital, and paid for the relevant treatment. The operation was a success! I can’t say if the joy of that family was greater than ours. I think that small gestures can also contribute to building peace
The neighbour who lived in front of our house was sick and required many treatments. Her husband opted to receive his pension early to take care of her. My husband and I also felt we had to do something, and we became their friends. While conversing with them one day, we ended up talking about our faith. We found out that she had stopped going to Church due to the incorrect behaviour of some priests; the husband instead, did not have much time for anything because of his work. When I shared how God had come into my own life, my neighbor started to ask many questions, and understood that perhaps, illness itself could be a bridge that God was offering to her. The heavy and sad atmosphere prevailing in that house vanished. She also started to pay more attention to her appearance. One evening her husband confided: “There is no medicine that can provide serenity, and for some time now we are enjoying this good.