Dear young friends, ...
Publish date 10-11-2022
… A little over a year ago we met in your municipalities and parishes to which you belong, to start a relationship with you, convinced that even among groups already formed we must unite and support each other. For some months we have been back to see you in your presence at the Arsenal of Peace. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, many have come to sort food and pack. Even when schools are closed, you spend part of the summer here putting yourself at the service of the poorest. But the most important thing is to stay together. One plus one plus one, we learn to look united in the same direction. In this complex time, the greatest risk is to be left alone to face life.
Thinking of all of you, I began a dialogue with a wise friend. I propose it to you because as she has done good to me she could also do it to you.
It seems to me fundamental to recover the importance of the relationship: it is essential to return to being a community and community of communities.
A baby's cry is the word. If mom is with me, I don't cry anymore. What does she tell us? That we women and men are made for the relationship. We need to be in relationship, affective relationships, friends, that are true, that we can trust. We need love. But we are also right. The Greeks called it logos, which also means "word". Man, as endowed with reason, is logikos, capable of speech. And what is the word? Relation. Relating to each other with words, because words are capable of building relationships: if words are not stones thrown at each other.
We can develop the same relationship with God. Yet, with him we are like two separate worlds that do not speak to each other. Today the thought of God is so distant from us and, since we cannot explain it to ourselves, we push it away ...
These ancient Greek inventors of philosophy also said that man was created by the word of God: by a creative impulse of God that it had an operational force, an energy, energy inside. How does man respond to this energy of life that the creative word of God has placed within him? With synergeia, synergy. That is, with collaboration. Collaboration with creation, the Creator for those who believe, and collaboration with others.
Relationship again! But synergy, collaboration to do what?
Beauty! Beauty is not what we are led to believe today: the shape, the physical beauty of an influencer or a tiktoker. Always our Greek friends, speaking of an old man who was wise, called him kalós gerós, the handsome old man: beautiful because he was wise, wise. In short, the old man's wisdom was true beauty: wisdom as welcome, the ability to be silent in order to listen deeply to the other, knowledge of one's own interiority, of the lights and shadows of the human soul, wisdom as overcoming envy, competitiveness, greed that destroy human relationships. Beauty is this.
I would really like us to learn to make sense of these words ...
Jesus is involved in this work. Jesus whom his friend John calls Logos: the Word that God has spoken to us, his SMS to humanity. Jesus Christ, son of Mary, who made our every cry his own and addressed it to God. The Holy Spirit, who raises the cry of all humanity to the compassion of the Father. It seems nothing has changed and everything has changed.
Ultimately if you were to talk to young people about him what would you say, dear wise friend? What did Jesus come to ask us?
Anything. He came to stay with us. Emmanuel: "all days are with you" (Mt 28,20), good days, holy days, days of sin, dark days. He came to form a relationship with us and among us. His incarnation has bridged the gap and makes collaboration possible, synergy between women and men and between them and God. We are no longer alone. Although in this wounded world there seems to be no room for him. But it is precisely in this world here that we can become word, relationship, collaboration, beauty. Right here, weak as we are. Emmanuel present in our weakness tells us to embrace it, not to escape it. He did not come to teach us to get out of sin: we are crooked, we do not get out of our defects. He came to bless our poverty, to make us love it. To transform it into beauty. But together, in the relationship, in collaboration. With the energy that is given to us.
Dear young friends,
if we meet in the avenues of the Arsenale or in your meeting places, let's not forget that relating to each other is the only way we have to collaborate and make our corner of the world better.
NP Giugno-Luglio 2022