Page 9, 13th July 1984

13th July 1984
Page 9
Page 9, 13th July 1984 — word of life Rewarding the witness of Christ
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word of life Rewarding the witness of Christ

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10, 32-33).

THESE WORDS are a great comfort and encouragement for us Christians.

Jesus uses them to beg us to live our faith in him with integrity, because our eternal destiny will depend on the attitude we have adopted towards Jesus during our life on earth. Acknowledging him before man will give him grounds for acknowledging us before his Father; if we deny him before men, he too will deny us before the Father.

"So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men. I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."

Jesus reminds us of the reward or punishment, which awaits us after this life, because he loves us. He knows as a Father of the Church put that at times the fear of a punishment is more effective than a beautiful promise. For this reason he fosters in us the hope of unending happiness and at the same time, so as to save us, rouses in us the fear of condemnation.

Jesus is concerned that we end up living for ever with God. Besides, this is the one thing that matters, this is the end for which we have been called into existence. Indeed it is only with God that we will reach the complete fulfilment of ourselves, the full satisfaction of all our aspirations. This is why Jesus exhorts us to acknowledge him while we are still in this life on earth. But if we deny him now, when the moment comes for us to pass into the next life, we will be cut off from him for ever.

Jesus at the end of our life on earth, will not do more than confirm, before the Father, the choice made by each person on earth, With all its consequences. And, with reference to the last judgement, he shows us all the importance and seriousness of the decision which we make in this life: what is at stake is eternity.

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."

How are we to live this word of his?

He tells us himself: "Everyone who acknowledges me". We must acknowledge him before men, simply and honestly.

We are called to be witnesses of Christ: he wants to reach all men with his message of peace, of justice, of love, through each one of us in person, so let us witness to Him wherever we are with our family, at work, with friends, when studying or in any other circumstance in our life.

We must give this witness above all by our behaviour: by the honesty of our life, by the purity of our actions, by our detachment from money, by sharing in the joys and sufferings of others.

The witness must come in particular with our reciprocal love, our unity, so that the peace and pure joy promised by Jesus to whoever is united with him may fill our spirit already in this life and overt/ow on Co others.

If anyone should ask us why we behave like this, why we are so calm, despite being in a very troubled world, we can answer, with humility and sincerity with the words which the Holy Spirit will suggest to us, and in this way also witness to Christ with words on the level of ideas.

We are still on the right road. Let's continue to witness to Christ with courage also in the midst of trials, also if it costs us our life. The goal which awaits us is worth it; the goal is heaven, where Jesus, whom we love, will acknowledge us before his Father for all eternity.

Chiara Lubich




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