EAO Good Night Talk (62)
May 1, 2019
Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!
Dear Friends and Salesian Family members,
Receive my heartfelt greetings in full joy amid the Easter season and on the first day of the Marian month of May! I must confess, that from the first day of this year I was deeply impressed by the giant statue of the Risen Jesus at the Becchi in the Basilica at Colle Don Bosco. The open, serene and warmly welcoming arms of Jesus Christ (1984) really mirror the Pinardi chapel fresco of the Risen Lord (1929). Here we find the roots of the Salesian spirituality in following the Risen Christ.
Then, on 25 March, we were surprised with the title of the ‘Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis ‘Christ is Alive’ (Christus Vivit), following the 2018 Synod of Bishops on ‘Youth – Faith – Vocational Discernment’. We find this lively, 299 paragraph letter really very heart-warming. Its opening words tell the tone and express the way of talking to the young: ‘The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope.’ (Pope Francis, Christ is Alive, nos 1-2)
Praying in the Basilica of Don Bosco in Becchi, we ponder also the 14 stations of the ‘Way of Light’: from the Resurrection to Pentecost and sending the disciples as missionaries around the world. Salesian Youth Spirituality is inspired by Jesus’ walk to Emmaus; as Salesians we feel at home on the journey. Pope Francis suggests the Emmaus journey as the way of the whole Catholic community and we feel more at the heart of the Catholic – Universal Church.
What kind of Salesians for the youth of today? From each EAO provincial chapter we hear the same plea of the young: ‘Dear Salesians, be present in our midst! Waste time with us and listen to us! Dear Salesians, be generous in wasting your time, and walk with us! We need you!’
Our best reply to these expectation is to take the ‘Christ is Alive’ Exhortation of Pope Francis into our hands, to read and ponder in our communities, day by day on our 50 days Easter journey towards the Pentecost. Let’s allow the Risen Jesus to transform also our lives!
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
EAO Regional Councillor