Word of Life
January 2012
Introduction
Every year
the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
is held in many parts of the world
from 18th to 25th January.
Elsewhere it is celebrated at Pentecost.
The motto for the Week of Prayer in
2012 refers to Paul’s first letter to the
Corinthians (1 Cor. 15: 51-58) and says
‘We shall be transformed because of
the victory of Christ Jesus our Lord.’
The Word of Life for this month
explores and comments upon this theme.
We are raised to where Christ is if we
strive to follow his values.
To some extent, these can be
summed up in seeing him
and loving him in others.
«If you have been raised with Christ,
seek the things that are above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.»
(Col 3,1)
Paul is speaking to the
community of Colossae.
A world exists, he says,
where there reigns true love,
full communion, justice,
peace, holiness and joy.
It is a world that sin and
corruption can enter no more,
a world where the Father's
will is perfectly done.
This is the world Jesus belongs to.
He has opened it up for us with his resurrection,
passing through the harsh trial of his passion.
«If you have been raised with Christ,
seek the things that are above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.»
Not only are we called to Christ's world, Paul tells us,
but we already belong to it.
Faith tells us that
through baptism
we have been brought
into Christ, and so
share in his life,
his gifts, his inheritance,
his victory over sin
and the forces of evil:
we have risen with him.
But,
unlike those holy souls
who have already
reached the goal,
our belonging
to Christ’s world
is not full and obvious.
Above all it is not stable
and definitive.
As long as we are still in this life on earth we are exposed
to thousands of dangers, difficulties and temptations
that can make us hesitate, slow down our progress
or even redirect us towards false destinations.
«If you have been raised with Christ,
seek the things that are above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.»
This is why Paul begs us: ‘Seek the things that are above’.
Seek to leave this world,
of course not materially,
but spiritually.
Give up following
the rules and passions
of the world to let
yourselves be guided
in every situation
by the thoughts
and feelings of Jesus.
‘The things that are above’ are the laws of the higher realm,
the laws of the kingdom of heaven that Jesus brought on earth
and wants us to make effective here and now.
«If you have been raised with Christ,
seek the things that are above, where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.»
How should we live this Word of Life?
It urges us not to be satisfied with a mediocre life
of half-measures and compromise, but to conform our lives,
with the grace of God, to Christ's law.
It inspires us to live
and be committed
to giving witness
wherever we are
to the values
Jesus brought on earth.
It could be
by different ways,
for instance, promoting the
spirit of harmony
and peace, of service
to our bothers and sisters,
of understanding
and forgiveness, of honesty,
justice and integrity
at work, of faithfulness,
of purity and
of respect for life,
and so on.
It is a programme, clearly, as wide-ranging as life itself.
But to avoid being vague, this month let's carry out the law of Jesus
that, to some extent, sums up all the others: seeing Christ
in each of our brothers and sisters and serving him.
After all, at the end of our life, is this not
the very thing we shall be questioned about?
«If you have been raised with Christ,
seek the things that are above,
where Christ is,
seated at the right hand of God.»
(Col 3,1)
“Word of Life”, monthly publication of the Focolare Movement.
Original text by: Chiara Lubich, April 1988.
Graphic design by Anna Lollo in collaboration with Fr. Placido D’Omina (Sicily - Italy)
This commentary on the Word of Life is translated in 96 languages,
and it reaches millions of people throughout the world through the press, radio, TV
and internet – for more information visit www.focolare.org.uk
This Powerpoint presentation is translated in various languages
and is published on www.santuariosancalogero.org
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Diapositiva 1 - Santuario San Calogero