Word of Life

A monthly Scripture passage for daily inspiration

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Find peace at heart

“Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Cor 13:11)

By Letizia Magri and the Word of Life team

The apostle Paul followed the development of the Christian community in the city of Corinth with love and attention. He visited and supported the people during difficult times.

“Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.”(Rom 12:10) 👪

By Patrizia Mazzola and the Focolare Word of Life Team

This month’s word of life is taken from the letter written by Paul to the Romans. The text is rich in content. Paul presents the Christian life as one where love abounds, a gratuitous and limitless love that God has poured into our hearts and that we, in turn, give to others.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Col 3:2)

By Patrizia Mazzola and the Focolare Word of Life team

The first Christian communities had only just formed, yet they were already experiencing internal disagreements due to false interpretations of the Gospel message. Paul, who was in prison, learned of these problems in Colossus and wrote to this community.

This month’s Word of Life can be better understood if we read the whole passage it is part of. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God!” (Col 3:2–3).

“Live as children of light: for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” (Eph. 5:8-9)

By Letizia Magri and the Focolare Word of Life team

Paul is writing to the community in Ephesus, a large and imposing city where he had lived while baptizing and evangelizing.

He is probably imprisoned in Rome in about the year 62 AD. He is in distress, yet he writes to these Christians, not so much to solve problems within the community, but to proclaim to them the beauty of God’s plan for the developing Church.

“You are the God who sees me.” (Gen 16:13)

By Patrizia Mazzola and the Focolare Word of Life team

The verse for this month’s Word of Life is taken from the book of Genesis. The words are spoken by Hagar, Sarah’s slave who was given in marriage to Abraham because Sarah could not bear children and ensure offspring.

When Hagar discovers she is pregnant, she feels superior to her mistress. The mistreatment she then receives from Sarah eventually forces her to flee into the desert.

“Learn to do good; seek justice.” (Is 1:17) 👪

Open your mind, your arms, your heart

“Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.” (Is 26:4) 👪

By Leticia Magri

The Word of Life we’re aiming to live this month is taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah, a wide-ranging and rich text that is cherished in the Christian tradition. In fact, it contains beloved writings such as the announcement of Emmanuel, “the God with us” (Is 7:14, Mt 1:23), or the figure of the “suffering servant” (Is 52:13–53:12), which forms the background to accounts of Jesus’ passion and death.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” (Mt 5:7) 👪

Overcome relationship obstacles

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” (Mt 5:7)

By Letizia Magri

In Matthew’s Gospel, the Sermon on the Mount is found after passages referring to the start of Jesus’ public life. The mountain is seen as a symbol of a new Mount Sinai, upon which Christ, a new Moses, offers his “law.” The previous chapter speaks of great crowds who began to follow Jesus and to whom he addressed his teachings.

These words, however, are spoken by

“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7) 👪

The letter, from which this Word of Life is taken, is sometimes considered to be St. Paul’s spiritual testament. The apostle is imprisoned in Rome and awaiting sentence as he writes to Timothy, who is a young disciple and his collaborator in charge of the complex community of Ephesus.

“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Mt 18:21) 👪

By Letizia Magri

Chapter 18 of Matthew’s Gospel is a rich text, in which Jesus instructs his disciples on how to live relationships within their newborn community. Peter’s question refers back to what Jesus had said a little earlier: “If your brother or sister sins against you...” (Mt 18:15).

As Jesus is speaking, Peter interrupts him as if he realizes that he has not fully understood what his master has just said. He asks Jesus a question that is relevant to understanding the pathway that the disciples should follow. How many times must we forgive?

“There is need of only one thing.” (Lk 10:42) 👪

By Letizia Magri

Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem, where his mission will be fulfilled. On the journey, he stops in a village at the home of Martha and Mary.

The evangelist Luke describes how the two sisters welcome Jesus: Martha fulfils the traditional role of homemaker and is “distracted by her many tasks” as she provides hospitality (although the verb perispàomai can also mean to be entirely occupied or greatly overburdened). Mary, instead, “sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to what he was saying.”


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