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Word of Life. February 2009. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:26). What do you say about this? These are words with tremendous, radical demands, never heard before!.

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Presentation Transcript
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Word

of

Life

February 2009

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“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children, yes, and even his own life,he cannot be my disciple.”(Lk 14:26)

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And yet that Jesus that had said matrimony to be indissoluble and had commanded to love all and thus in particular parents, that same Jesus now asks to put in the second place all the beautiful affections of the world, whenever they might stand in the way of a direct and immediate love of Him. Only God could ask so much.

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Jesus in fact tears people away from their natural way of living and wants them first of all to be bound to himselfso as to build universal brotherhood on earth.

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In order to achieve this, whenever he finds an obstacle to his plan he ‘cuts’, and in the Gospel he speaks of ‘the sword’, a spiritual swordof course.

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And he calls those who do not know how to love him more thantheir mother, their spouse, their life – ‘dead’.
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Do you remember the man who asked to go and bury his father before following Jesus? The reply Jesus gave him was: ‘leave the dead to bury their own dead’. (Lk 9:60).Perhaps you will have felt a tremor of fear before such demands, perhaps you thought that these words of Jesus only apply to the period in which he lived, or perhaps you thought they only applyto those who follow Jesus in a special way.

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You are mistaken. These words are of value for every epoch, including ours, and they are meant for all Christians,including you. The age we live in presents you with many opportunitiesfor putting Christ’s invitation into practice.

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Is someone in your family against Christianity? Jesus wants you to witness to him with your life and at the opportune moment with words, even at the cost of being derided or calumniated.

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Does your brother want you to keep company with others whose behaviour is suspicious or downright scandalous? Dissociate yourself from them.

does a member of your family invite you to accept dirty money
Does a member of your family invite you to accept ‘dirty’ money?

Maintain your honesty.

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Does the whole family want to involve you in a worldly, lax approach to moral standards? Cut – so thatChrist will not move away from you.

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“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”(Lk 14:26)

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Do you come from a family that does not believe and did the fact of your conversion to Christ cause a division? Don’t be alarmed.It’s an effect of the Gospel. Offer to God the anguish you feelin your heart for those you love, but don’t give up.

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Christ has called you in a special way to himself and now the moment has come when your total giving of yourself demands that you leave father and mother, or perhaps that you renounce your engagement. Make your choice. Without a fight there is no victory.

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“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”(Lk 14:26)

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Monsignor Romero,El Salvador

Padre Pino Puglisi, Italia

Padre Ragheed, Irak

“… and even his own life”.Are you in a country where there is persecution and your open commitment to Christ puts your life in danger? Take courage. Occasionally our faith can make this demand too.The age of the martyrs in the Church is never completely over.

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Each one of us, in our life, will find we have to choose between Christ and everything else, so as to remain authentic Christians. So your turn will come too.

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Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid about life:it is better to lose it for God than never to find it again. The next Life is a reality.
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Don’t be afraid for your family. God loves them. One day – if you know how to put them aside for God – he will pass by them and will call them with the strong words of his love, and you will help them to become with you true disciples of Christ.

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“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”(Lk 14:26)

“Word of Life”, monthly publication of the Focolare Movement.

Text by: Chiara Lubich, October 1978.Graphics by Anna Lollo incollaboration with don Placido D’Omina

(Sicily - Italy)

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