They express, in all its intensity, the drama unfolding within Jesus. This inner wound is caused by the profound revulsion of his human nature when faced with death willed by his Father. Do you remember? These were the words Jesus spoke to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane. They give sense to his passion which was followed by his resurrection.
But Christ had not waited for that day to make his will fit in with his Father’s. He had done it all his life.
If this is how Christ behaved, it ought to be the attitude of every Christian. With your life, too, you should repeat these words:
Maybe you never thought of it before, even if you have been baptized and belong to the Church.
Maybe you’ve used these words to express resignation – something you say when you’ve got no choice. But this is not its real meaning.
Let me explain. In your life you have two directions before you. You can do your own will or you can freely choose to do God’s will.
So two experiences are possible. The first soon disappoints, as you attempt to climb the mountain of life using your own limited ideas, your own resources, your own dreams, your own strength.
From this, sooner or later, comes the dull routine of an existence that knows only boredom, inconclusiveness, greyness and, at times, despair.
And from this comes, in the end, a death that leaves no trace: a few tears, then, inevitably, your existence is utterly blotted from the memory of all. The second experience happens if you, too, repeat the words: From this, comes a life that is flat and which, even though you want to make it colourful, never satisfies your deepest self.
You see, God is like the sun. From the sun many rays shine, that touch each person. They are God’s will.
In their lives Christians, and people of good will too, are called to walk towards the sun, in the light of their own ray, different and distinct from all the others. In doing this, they fulfil the wonderful and particular plan God has for them.
If you do it too, you will find yourself caught up in a divine adventure that you never dreamed of. You will be both actor and spectator in something great that God does in you and, through you, in humanity.
Everything that happens to you – whether sufferings or joys, good things or bad, important events (like success and fortune, accidents or the loss of loved ones) or insignificant events (like the daily business of home, or school, or work) – everything will acquire a new meaning since it has been offered to you by God who is Love.
He wills, or permits, everything for your good. While at first you may accept this by faith, later you will see with the eyes of your soul that there is a golden thread connecting all events and things and forming a beautiful embroidery: it is God’s plan for you.
Maybe you find this idea attractive. Maybe you sincerely want to give a deeper meaning to your life. Listen then. First let me say when you ought to do God’s will.
Just think for a moment: the past is gone, you can’t chase after it. You can only leave it to God’s mercy. The future is not yet here. You will live it when it becomes the present. Only the present is in your hands. It is in the present that you have to try to live these words:
When you go on a journey – and life too is a journey – you just stay on your seat. It wouldn’t occur to you to walk up and down the carriage. But this is what we do when we want to live our life dreaming of a future that is not yet here or thinking of a past that will never return.
No, time moves forward on its own. We must remain rooted in the present and we will reach the fulfilment of our life in this world. You may ask me: how do I distinguish God’s will from my own? In the present it is not difficult to know what God’s will is. Let me show you a way.
Listen within yourself. There is a gentle voice, perhaps too often suffocated, grown almost imperceptible. But listen to it carefully: it is God’s voice. It tells you when it’s time to study, or to love someone in need, or to work, or to overcome a temptation, or to fulfil one of your duties as a Christian or as a citizen.
It invites you to listen to those who speak in God’s name, or to face difficult situations with courage… \
Listen, listen. Never silence that voice: it is the most precious treasure you possess. Follow it.
And then moment by moment you will build the story of your life, a story that is both human and divine, because it’s made by you working together with God. And you will see wonders; you will see what God can do in those who say, with their whole lives, these words:
“Not my will but yours be done“ “Word of life”, monthly publication of the Focolare Movement. Text by: Chiara Lubich (8/1978) Graphic design by Anna Lollo in collaboration with Fr Placido D’OminaAnna LolloPlacido D’Omina (Sicily - Italy)