Focolare Word of Life - March 2021

“Make me know your ways, O Lord: teach me your paths.” (Ps 25 [24]:4)

This psalm presents us with a man who feels threatened and in danger. He needs to find the right path to lead him to safety. Who can he appeal to for help?

Aware of his own fragility, he finally raises his eyes and cries out to the Lord, to the God of Israel, who has never abandoned his people, but has guided them on the long journey through the desert and into the promised land.

The experience of “walking with God” fills the wayfarer with a sense of hope once again. It is a special time of new intimacy with God, of confident surrender to his faithful love, despite infidelity.

In biblical language, walking with God is also a lesson in life. It is a time of learning to recognize his plan of salvation.

“Make me know your ways, O Lord: teach me your paths.”

We often walk along the roads of our presumed self-sufficiency, but then we find ourselves disoriented, confused, faced with our limitations and shortcomings. We would like to find a compass in life and the correct path to reach our goal.

This psalm helps us greatly; it urges us toward a new or renewed personal encounter with God and trust in his friendship.

It gives us the courage to embrace his teachings, which constantly invite us to avoid remaining closed in on ourselves and follow him on the way of love. Indeed, he is the first to travel this path as he comes to meet us.

It can be a prayer that accompanies us throughout the day and turn every moment, whether joyful or sad, into a stepping stone along our journey.

“Make me know your ways, O Lord: teach me your paths.”

In Switzerland, Hedy, who is married and has four children, has been trying to live the Word for many years. She is now seriously ill and knows that she is about to reach the finish line of her journey on Earth.

Her dear friend Kati told us: “During every visit, even with the nursing staff, Hedy is always looking out for other people. She is always interested in other people, even though it is now very difficult for her to speak. She thanks everyone for being there and shares her experience with them.

“She is an embodiment of love, a living ‘yes’ to God’s will! She attracts many people: friends, relatives and clergy. Everyone is deeply impressed by her attention to all her visitors and by her strength, the fruit of faith in God’s love.”

Focolare founder Chiara Lubich often spoke of life as a “holy journey” — a symbol of the path we travel towards God. In a Gospel commentary from December 2006, she further explained: “Why not make of the only life we have, a holy journey, because holy is he who awaits us.

“Even those who do not have precise religious beliefs can make a masterpiece of their lives, and undertake with great integrity a journey of sincere moral commitment.

“If life is a holy journey along the paths of God’s will, we should make progress every day. But when we stop? Should we abandon the enterprise because we are discouraged by our mistakes? No, in these moments the watchword is ‘start again,’ putting all our trust in God’s grace rather than in our abilities.

“And it’s important that we walk together, united in love, helping one another. The holy one will be in our midst and he will be our ‘way.’ He will make us understand God’s will more clearly and give us the desire and the capacity to carry it out. Everything will be easier if we are united, and we will experience the joy promised to those who undertake the holy journey.”

- Letizia Magri

Read more on this topic:

  • Lubich, Chiara,“A divine adventure,” On the Holy Journey, New City Press: 1988, pp. 27–28.
  • Giordani, Igino, Diary of Fire, New City London: 1981, p. 66.

Next month: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” (Jn 10:11)

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