The Kingdom of God requires our collaboration, but above all, it is the Lord's initiative and gift to us. Our fragile work, if it is inserted into that of God, is not afraid of difficulties because the Lord's victory is certain. His love will cause every seed of good present on earth to sprout and grow. This is the certainty that animates and consoles us.
In the current Strenna, the Rector Major invites us to recognize that there is so much good in our contemporaneity, but also so much suffering created by our way of being and acting as a human family. Therefore, he urges us to open our eyes and hearts to the action of God who establishes His Kingdom in a very special way by leavening: the human heart, relationships, creation, and all of humanity with the Gospel.
Jesus presents us with a particular style of life based on meekness, mercy and unconditional love for each person. A style that is often not understood even by His disciples. Sometimes our human contribution, our small effort may seem insignificant, but before God we know that it has great value. We cannot evaluate the success of our actions only by the commitment we put into carrying them out, because all fruitfulness comes from God.
It is He who vivifies and multiplies the good with His presence in us and in all those who give themselves to improve the world. In this regard, Mother Mazzarello affirmed, "It is the hand of God that works in us" (cf. L 66:2) and she said it as the fruit of personal experience, of those who have allowed themselves to be enlightened and worked interiorly by God's grace. She was deeply convinced that one must allow oneself to be shaped throughout one's life by the creative and purifying hand of God.
Together, as Salesian Family, we are challenged to be the good yeast in the flour of humanity and to recognize the richness of the vocation of lay people in all educating communities, valuing in different cultures and societies the gift of life, the strength of faith, the creativity of love, the beauty of the family, experience and professional competence, Gospel witness.
Without yeast, a fluffy loaf of bread is impossible
Salesian spirituality, which animates and inspires the Salesian Youth Movement, focuses on valuing daily life as a place where life, the experience of faith and growth in the capacity of young people to give is incarnated. It supports their leadership in compounding good and in carrying out actions and behaviours of solidarity that build and strengthen peace and fraternity among peoples. At the same time, young people continue to be recipients of our mission athe charism, gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church.
The style that animates the Salesian Family unites young people, educators, consecrated men and women, and lay people in a single charismatic experience and presupposes an environment of participation, sharing of values, prayer and holiness. In Salesian spirituality, relationships are marked by the “family spirit” that cancels distances, fosters confidence, brings generations closer together, and creates a climate of trust in which people can grow in freedom and collaborate with each other in reciprocity.
Being yeast in today's world is responding to the call to be there, to be a presence that generates life that accompanies the growth and maturation especially of young people in feeling they are a living part of society and of the Church, willing to go beyond the narrow horizons of their own life to discover, in the fabric of daily life, the ecclesial, political and social dimensions of commitment.
This story originally appeared in the Autumn 2023 edition of the Australian Salesian Bulletin