Monday, November 14, 2011

Mondays with Verbum Domini

The word of God and practical charity

Commitment to justice, reconciliation and peace finds its ultimate foundation and fulfilment in the love revealed to us in Christ. By listening to the testimonies offered during the Synod, we saw more clearly the bond between a love-filled hearing of God’s word and selfless service of our brothers and sisters; all believers should see the need to “translate the word that we have heard into gestures of love, because this is the only way to make the Gospel proclamation credible, despite the human weakness that marks individuals”. Jesus passed through this world doing good (cf. Acts 10:38). Listening with docility to the word of God in the Church awakens “charity and justice towards all, especially towards the poor”. We should never forget that “love – caritas – will always prove necessary, even in the most just society … whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such”. I therefore encourage the faithful to meditate often on the Apostle Paul’s hymn to charity and to draw inspiration from it: “Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but delights in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Cor 13:4-8).

Love of neighbour, rooted in the love of God, ought to see us constantly committed as individuals and as an ecclesial community, both local and universal. As Saint Augustine says: “It is essential to realize that love is the fullness of the Law, as it is of all the divine Scriptures … Whoever claims to have understood the Scriptures, or any part of them, without striving as a result to grow in this twofold love of God and neighbour, makes it clear that he has not yet understood them”.

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