Rector Major - Presentation of the Strenna (24 July 2019)
Strenna 2020 'Good Christians and Upright Citizens' > presentation
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Mt 6,10)
Tetum: STRENNA 2020 tetum.docx
«Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven» (Mt 6,10)
“GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS”
Note: While I was presenting the commentary to the Strenna 2019 in Turin Valdocco to the Salesian Family, some were already asking for the draft of the Strenna 2020, so that they could have it for the beginning of the educative pastoral year in some parts of the world.
I do this with joy, while insisting that this is only an outline, a draft with the essential points that I will develop when I prepare a meditated, interiorized, and calm reflection, one that is, as far as possible, profound and understandable at the same time.
I would like the Strenna to continue to help us to have a central thread in the pastoral guidance of the New Year in every part of the world. I bless you all.
After the meeting of the World Council of the Salesian Family in Turin in May, I decided to propose for the Strenna of 2020 a theme that, in the form of a pair, embodies the essence of our Salesian education. We received it from Don Bosco himself: to help our boys, girls and young people to be "good Christians and honest citizens". We need to deepen more and more our identity as evangelizers and educators of the faith.
There is a growing fragility, and sometimes inability, in being apostles and missionaries of the youth. And at the same time there is the risk of not educating our young people to a strong sense of citizenship, social justice and evangelical values that lead to interiorize, as a life program, service to others, commitment to public life, personal honesty and "allergy" to all types of corruption, sensitivity to the world of migration, to creation and the "common home" that has been given to us, in the commitment to protect the defenceless, those who have no say, and who are discarded.
I wonder: if we can't educate to these values, what are we getting? And what evangelization in the name of Jesus are we carrying out?
Therefore, this educative commitment is today an expression of the word of Jesus: "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven". This is and will continue to be Don Bosco's true "policy of the Our Father".
Since the reference to Don Bosco is so direct and on one of the most sensitive themes in his history "within" the social - political - ecclesial context in which he lived, I think it is important to pay attention to what our sources have to say on this subject. It is necessary to have a clear idea of what the involvement in the "polis" of his time was like for Don Bosco: his great "ayes" and his most firm "noes", which certainly cannot be transferred unchanged in our context.
This year's Strenna allows us to reconstruct what Don Bosco thought and what his way of doing and acting was, among the youth, with the intention of preparing them for the society in which they found themselves, subject to spinning changes, in the midst of the industrial revolution where poverty for many reached extreme levels: immense social and economic inequality, the growth of the phenomenon of begging, the abandonment of "migrant" children... All this in 19th century Italy.
«My policy - Don Bosco replied - is the same as Your Holiness’s. It is the policy of the Our Father. In the Our Father we beg every day that the kingdom of the Heavenly Father come on earth, that is, that it be extended more and more, that it be more and more felt, more and more alive, more and more powerful and glorious: Adveniat regnum tuum! and this is what matters most"»