Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Strenna 2010: Personal vs Communitarian pespective

I am pretty much surprised by the Strenna of 2010
“Sir, we want to see Jesus”
In imitation of Don Rua,
as authentic disciples and zealous apostles
let us bring the Gospel to the young
After all the previous strennas which were very inclusive and 'holistic' in their outlook and reach, here comes something so typical of only our faith. Whatever we may say, in times when religion causes more division than union, such a theme will certainly raise eyebrows.

I also look at it from the perspective that we as a Province are now heading towards... a human rights perspective, involving all those with whom we are involved in (young people, lay collaborators, parents, teachers, other like-minded organisations, government employees and bureaucrats). Now to strive for this we cannot be having another agenda and in a sense working towards that. I remember Fr Koshy getting irritated during one meeting (perhaps the only time I saw him so) because he says, while networking we are engaged in discussion with so many things and with so many people, trying to strengthen our common interests, that suddenly we crop up trying to wave our 'Don Bosco' flag over and above the main issues we have gathered for. I see his point: we do not have to always brag about Don Bosco, certainly not in times and places where real ideals are being lived out. What is important is that we do the work of Don Bosco, if need be envision what he would be doing today and carry that out rather than look for ways and means of turning up our collars, just because we are Salesians.

Coming back to the Strenna proper, as a religious I fully endorse it. It is true that I need to bring Christ to the young and the vice-versa too. But I also feel it is of utmost importance as to how this is done. Much depends on the latter. On the periphery, there may seem a contradiction in the community dimension that I see and the personal opinion that I express. However, it really need not be so. Reason: Each of us is responsible for this. There are no ready made solutions for living out one's faith for a common purpose. But how well we live it out in harmony with all others involved is truly a challenge, which we need to respond to. How well we respond to - or atleast attempt to respond and live out - indicates our commitment to Christ, His people and Don Bosco.

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