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May 1988

Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. (1 Jn. 3:18)

St. John puts his communities on guard against some people who spoke about faith in Jesus, but did not put it into practice. Indeed, they considered deeds to be useless and superfluous, as if Jesus had already done everything. Their faith was empty and sterile because they did not give to the work of Jesus the indispensable contribution which he asks from each one of us.

Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

Let us love in a concrete way. True faith, says the apostle, is faith which gives proof of itself by loving in the way Jesus loved and taught us to love. Now, the first characteristic of this kind of love is concreteness. Jesus did not love us with beautiful talks. Rather, he was in our midst doing good; healing all (Acts 10:38); being fully available to those who came to him, beginning with the weakest, the poorest, the most alienated; giving up his life for us.

Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

The apostle says that aside from loving in deed, we should also love in truth. While striving to transform our Christian love into concrete acts, we also aim at finding inspiration in the truth of the love we find in Jesus. We should aim at doing works which are in conformity with his wishes and teachings. Thus, we should love in the way and in the measure Jesus has shown us.

Let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

How can we live the Word of Life this month? Its message is so clear. It is a reminder of that authentic Christianity on which Jesus insisted. But isn't this also what the world eagerly expects? Isn't it true that the world today wants to see witnesses of Jesus' love?

Let us therefore love in deed and not only in word, beginning with the humble services which are asked of us each day by those who are beside us. And let us love in truth. Jesus always acted according to the will of the Father; in the same way, we should act always according to the words of Jesus. He wants us to see him in each neighbour. In fact, he considers that whatever we do to each person is done to him. He also wants us to love our neighbour as ourselves and to love one another, ready to give up our lives for one another.

Let us love in this way also in order to be instruments of Jesus for the salvation of the world.

Chiara Lubich


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