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June 1988

He died for all, that those who live might five no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Cor. 5:15)

These words reflect St Paul's extraordinary experience. One day on the road to Damascus he was overwhelmed and conquered by Christ; he felt filled with the irresistible love of Christ which transformed him in a radical way.

From that moment he understood who Jesus is and what was the secret of all his life. Jesus loved first continually, and gave his life continually to the extent of dying on the cross. Paul has understood that the love Jesus had for us is the only power capable of changing the world.

He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Jesus also gave his life so as to transform us into other Jesuses, instruments of his love, communicating his inner power to us.

Inspired by this idea and this fire which Jesus gave him, St Paul is ready to place his life totally at Christ's disposal. He is ready to spend his energies and to face exhaustion, difficulties and dangers of every sort in order to communicate the love Jesus brought on earth to everyone.

He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

St Paul wants to convince the community at Corinth and through them convince us too that to give our life to Jesus is wonderful. It is wonderful to give our energies to this great ideal and to live not for ourselves but for him, carrying out the revolution of love which he came to launch on earth. He calls us to be new persons, the builders of the new world he first established.

He died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

How should we live this Word of Life? By welcoming St Paul's appeal. By becoming a ring in this chain of love and generosity which started from Jesus. We should not just wait around or stand back, we should be the first to love and never lose courage. We should help others and build human fellowship as Jesus would do if he were in our place.

Even when we see no result we should go on loving, believing in the irresistible power of Christian love, convinced that each act of love we make, even if entirely hidden, has a powerful effect on the world.

Chiara Lubich

 

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The Word of Life is published by the Focolare Movement