The common good

Publish date 31-03-2022

by Cesare Falletti


The Christmas lights have come on, perhaps in a slightly lesser tone than in years past; this is not bad even if they bear the trace of a suffering and a restlessness that leaves us not fully available to the joy of the Lord's coming. However, it is important to look up, as the prophets invite us to do, and look at the world immersed in darkness, waiting for a true light, of which the lights that come on in the evening should be signs of waiting, but which risk being a meaningless decoration. What is this expectation in a world that never ceases to be marked by wounds, enmities, absurd wars (as indeed is any war that solves nothing) and so much selfishness?

Christmas is the feast of the gift that God gives us of himself, He who thinks of our full human fulfillment, and who from the day of creation does not cease to make us understand that Life is a common good that must be given, without closing it in one's own hands. . The world weeps and sighs because it does not know that the gift it must receive is the culture of God, the culture of the common good, the culture of the true gift. The more suffering spreads, the more the urgency of this gift becomes great, yet the temptation to close oneself in one's own little good and in self-defense becomes great. What does culture of the Common Good mean? It is the awareness that we cannot be humanly happy if we do not seek the good we seek for everyone and not only for ourselves, if our ideas are not converted to welcoming those of others, to interest in their life, to the attention to the common space. There is no good that can only belong to an individual and that cannot be shared. Humanity is a fact of communion, not of separate individuals, even if each one is a whole and carries within himself freedom and the right to the goods of life. We bear in us the indelible sign of our origin: the image and likeness of the Trinity, one God, indivisible communion of Three Persons. We too are a mystery, so we are often mistaken in seeking what we are truly living beings for; so we groped in the darkness of uncertainty, of fear, of the rejection of the risk of the Good. And we forget the Common Good, which, after a brief feeling of joy, plunges us into sadness.

We must let ourselves be told by the lights of Christmas, an announcement that joy can really exist and that every material gift is nothing more than a sign of self-giving, that wishes express openness to friendship, to "loving", that time that seems to fly away is also a gift to be with others. Then also solitude, which becomes painful and heavy on holidays, can become a place of communion, because in every smallest choice, every action or gesture is communion with the world and in particular with the world that suffers because the good is not shared. .

At the bottom of this brings us all the reflection on ecology, on the attention not to "dirty" the world, not to make it an unlivable place, a safe of unshared goods in which one dies suffocated.

Covid made us attentive to our breathing, we learned what saturation is, the need for oxygen in the blood, and many other things that we lived without giving it a thought. Instead of thinking of the evils of the world as if they were an injury to our right to live, we can learn that thinking about the good of others, the good of all, is to saturate our blood with healthy oxygen, which allows us to live by breathing freely and enjoying the beauty of creation that is given to us and into which we have been placed. This is an opening to the culture of the Common Good, which we all aspire to, but which too often we do not think of as something that depends on us.

Cesare Falletti
NP Dicembre 2021

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