Making the Church the home and school of communion
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (Mt 7:24)
The Gospel words of Jesus are words to be lived. Jesus told us, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (Jn 6:63). So we can take Jesus’ words, such as, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Lk 6:31) and put those words in practice right here and now in our present situation with the neighbour next to us. We can not only study the word of God, discuss it, memorize it and pray over it but most important of all we can live it.
We also can humbly share with one another our concrete experiences of putting the Gospel into practice in the simple, everyday circumstances of life. We can share the good effects or fruits of our Gospel experiences as well. We discover that the word of life can be lived by everyone and in every situation. By sharing our Gospel experiences we help one another appreciate the Word of God even more, and we learn from one another the many different ways that the word of life can be lived. It is one way that we “live Jesus’ words together” and go to God together in the spirituality of communion.
“Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves” (Jas 1:22). “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it” (Lk 8:21).
A Key Experience
The discovery of what it means to put into practice this point of the spirituality of communion in the words of Chiara Lubich
The Gospel words were “words of life”; they could be put into practice at once. For example, “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mt 19:18) could be done right away, because there was usually a neighbour nearby. Likewise, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for me” (Mt 25:40) could be immediately translated into practice.
Moreover, the words in the Gospel were meant for everyone. We discovered that the word of God was truly a light coming from on high to illuminate every person in the world. His words were something that everyone, child or adult, educated or not, could live. What these words produce in us and in those around us was a kind of revolution!
I must admit that up until then, though I was a Christian and a practicing Catholic, I had not taken the word of God very seriously; the Gospel had not been my rule of life. But now, living the Gospel changed my relationship with God and with others. And the same happened to my friends.
The words of Jesus are not merely exhortations, suggestions, indications, directives, orders, or commands. Jesus is present in his words. They are Jesus himself!
Our task Is to live the world in the present moment.
The word of Life! We will truly be “alive” if we live the word, if we are the living word.
Just as Jesus is totally present in even a small portion of the most sacred host, so too, in the Gospel, Jesus is totally present, even in each of his words.
The word of God if like the clothing that we put on each day.
“I have discovered the Gospel and I see in it a new light. I realize that I wasn’t an authentic Christian because I didn’t put it into practice in a total way. Now I want this book of the Gospel to be my only goal. It should be easy for me to learn the alphabet. I can’t and I don’t want to remain illiterate when it comes to this extraordinary message.” Blessed Chiara Luce Badano (beatified in 2010), November 29, 1985
Points to share in a small group
- What does it mean to put a scriptural word of life into practice?
- How can I live the word of God in my normal daily routine?
- What is the difference between studying the word of God and putting it into practice?
- Daily examination of conscience: Did I remember to live the word of life?
An experience on Spirituality of Communion
A young man who studies theology in Rome came to our meeting on the word of life. He was listening but he was puzzled at the language we were using when we spoke about the Gospel. Our way of talking was very different from the one he knew from his books and studies.
The following Thursday he came back and told us: “Now I understand; you are talking of the Gospel that is lived in your lives. Up to now I knew the Gospel from the point of view of theology, but I never thought about living it.” Then the following week, we noticed that he was helping us. He was inviting a group of young people to come into the meeting room and was explaining to them what was going on. We could tell that now he was really living the word!
Sharing our Gospel experiences gave me the strength to go ahead
For several years I tried to live the word of God but never quite managed to live it alone. Then I found someone else with whom to live the word. We met every night and shared our efforts, successes and failures. I saw that in this way I was more able to live the Gospel. Meeting with him not only encouraged me to keep trying, but the light from his experiences also helped me to understand better how I, in a similar way, could make it part of my life. My whole life changed. I began to see everything in a different way. It became an adventure with successes and struggles that continue to this day.
There is a law in Physics
One day after school I was going to my workplace with a colleague. We began talking about the many different ways to ride a bike. Believe it or not, we got in a disagreement over that! I had my opinion on the best way to ride a bike and I wasn’t about to change my mind, period. We got to the office. With a storm cloud over my head I set about doing my work. I felt very bad, but I didn’t have the courage to go over and tell my friend I was sorry. After a few minutes, another worker arrived. He had come to help for a few days and, in that moment, because there were many boxes in the small area where I was. He looked at me and smiling said, “Don’t you know there is a law in physics that states that two things cannot stay in the same place at the same time?”
I smiled and stepped aside, but inside I understood my problem. Love for my neighbour can’t be in my heart if my ego is taking up all the room. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” (Lk 6:31) was the word of life of that month. I knew I had to go and apologize to my friend. I did, and we both felt very happy!
Letting go on being on time
I guess I would have to say that if I get attached to anything, it is to “being on time”. While punctuality in itself can be love, if I can’t put ‘it’ aside to love my neighbour the ‘it’ becomes an obstacle. It seems that my husband always wants me to do something for him just when I am about to leave the house. This happened the other day. He called me as I was leaving and I wanted to dismiss his request and answer him sarcastically.
The word of life came to me, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away” (Mt 5:29). In this case it was my tongue. I stopped short and remembered that my husband was Jesus for me to love. I listened to him and loved him in that moment, putting aside being on time, and I experienced a profound and lasting peace in my soul!
What can I do?
Try to put into practice what you have learned today. Then at the beginning of the next group meeting, share your Gospel experiences with the others – one or two episodes when you were able to remember a phrase of the Gospel during the day and put the word of life into practice – as a gift.
Dun Victor Agius
2 thoughts on “Spirituality of Communion”
L imhabba ta Kristu ggelni namghel dan li ma nghijja qatt nghin lill hadtihor u li tmut ghal hadtihor dejjem permez tat talb u l kelma ta Alla
happy day and good job
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