June 1997

The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living.

"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother" (Mk. 3:35)

With these words Jesus reveals to the people crowding around him who he considers to be members of his family. His is a new type of family. It is a family in which the bonds of blood relations and kinship are not determining. Those who belong to his family are all those who, like him, carry out God’s will.

The will of God is the voice of God which continually speaks to us and invites us. It’s like a thread, a divine, golden thread that runs throughout our earthly life and beyond. It’s God’s way of expressing his love for us, a love which calls for an answer so that he can work his wonders in our life. The will of God is what we are called to be, it’s our true being, our total self-fulfillment.

"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother"

There is someone who can give us an idea of what the will of God brings about in those who completely abandon themselves to it: this person is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We can say that he spirituality she lived in fullness here on earth was that of carrying out the will of God: "May it be done to me according to your word" (Lk. 1:38).

Mary’s constant adherence to God’s will, even in the most painful and tragic moments, led her to identifying with and to fulfilling the extraordinary plan that God had for her from all eternity.

Because she carried out the will of God, she became the Mother of God in Jesus.

"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother"

Something similar is true for us, too, relatively speaking. Our presence in history doesn’t start only at the moment of our birth. No, we already existed in the mind of God from all eternity. We have always been thought of by God, always loved by God. We have always had a place in his heart.

Which place, how?

We know little or nothing about this now, but we will discover it fully one day if, by doing the will of God as Mary did, we go to take our place in heaven on the day of our departure from this earth.

Therefore, we too should want what God wants. We should not just be resigned to it, not simply accept it, not carry it out with a divided heart. We must be one with it. We couldn’t do anything better than the will of God. It’s the most intelligent thing we can do.

It makes us members of Jesus’ family.

"Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother"

Now practically speaking, what does it mean to do God’s will?

It means carrying out well, fully, whatever God asks of us and that is, to speak, make a phone call, listen, help, study, pray, eat, sleep. In a word, it means living out our daily life, moment by moment, carrying out the duties involved in our profession, in our family, in our relationships with the people around us.

There is a precious rule which enormously facilitates this task, and it is to live the present moment.

All great experts in spiritual life recommend that we live the present moment well.

It is by living the present that we can fully carry out all our duties.

It is by living the present that the crosses become bearable.

It is by living the present that we can receive God’s inspirations.

The past has already gone; the future is not here yet. Therefore, only one reality counts: what we are, what we do in this moment. Every instant, therefore, is precious because it is the only time at our disposal.

We need to be all there, intent on carrying out that small or big project we are working at, eliminating all the rest, putting aside all other thoughts, desires, memories and actions. Whatever we do should be done well and completely, and fully engage our whole heart, mind and strength. This is the way to do God’s will.

It is also the only way to build or re-build both the community of believers and the human family. In fact, from these words of Jesus, we understand that relations based on race, culture or blood are not what build the most intimate bonds among people.

Instead, all those who do the will of God by obeying the law he has placed in every heart, belong to one large family, wherever they may be in the world, because each one is "brother and sister and mother" of Jesus.

Chiara Lubich