“The voice of God,” Maria tells us, “has an unmistakable sound, it awakens even the most dormant conscience, confounds fears, quiets excesses. And it transforms an afternoon of ordinary everyday life into an opportunity for good, into the possibility of happiness.

Twenty-seven young boys and young mothers from the parish of St Nicholas of Myra in Messignadi knew where to go, on 12 March 2024, because the Lord was there waiting for them: love often travels along bumpy paths, and the destination on that Tuesday afternoon was the home of the Sisters of Charity of St Ferdinand, an obstacle course of food to be packed and food to be prepared.

Putting oneself at the service and ‘getting one’s hands dirty’ is the most beautiful form of love, it is that love that does not weigh up, that does not spare itself, that offers itself without reserve.

The small group, led by the parish priest Fr Francesco D. and Sr Maria Grazia P., with patience and care, and with the enthusiasm that is typical of those who are able to give and give themselves, prepared dinner for 200 immigrants from the nearby tent city.

Strange is the paradox that wants us to be brothers of men born in distant lands, a paradox that overcomes our limitations and transforms us into instruments of grace, fruitful in our paucity.

By preparing food for those who do not have it, we paradoxically felt fed, loved and blessed. Our hands, so fragile, so poor, reached out and touched their pain, physical and spiritual, received by giving, were enriched by giving. And we have increasingly become aware of what Pope Francis calls the ‘globalisation of indifference’; it would take little to do concrete good, it would be enough to look away from ourselves and grasp in the other, even if poor, even if small, its preciousness.

Migration is a complex phenomenon, the result of heterogeneous factors: famine, human rights violations, political persecution, global warming. About one million people, children, women and men, have landed in Italy in the last ten years. It is a problem that is difficult to solve, that concerns us all, that challenges us.

Perhaps transforming the limit of reception into an opportunity for mutual enrichment requires not only the political and economic governance of the EU and Western states, but also a reminder that poverty is not misery, but is ‘going light’. No migration policy will have resolution without an ethic of charity, without an attitude of humanity that translates into collective profit.

That Tuesday afternoon in mid-March, we reminded ourselves that the man who builds roads in his heart is happy, not labyrinths or swamps: we are creatures of seeking and walking, what belongs to us is not in us, it is beyond us, there where the questions we do not have the courage to ask Him find an answer, find hope: giving without expecting anything in return, in service to life for life’s sake, recognising even in the poorest and smallest creature the image of God and, therefore, a gift of life.

“Christ my Hope is risen and goes before you in Galilee” The Risen One goes before us and accompanies us along the roads of the world. He is our Hope, He is the true peace of the world. Alleluia!

Maria S.