By Fr. Lou Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate of Youth Ministry
"The lay person in the Church and in the Salesian Family is and will increasingly be a committed Christian who sanctifies the world from within." Fr. Ángel reminds us that, while living in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, we cannot accept a dualism between the sacred and the profane in this world which was created by God. The Christian must be in relationship with the world in which they live like leaven. To be leaven in the world means that we accept the state and condition of the world as it is, aware of the problems, difficulties, and challenges that it imposes. We then work from here to build a better world wherever we are in it. This is the vocation of the laity!
Our challenge today, my brothers and sisters, is to be present in society as evangelizers committed to the missionary activity of the Church. The challenge, especially for our contemporary society, is that religion can no longer be taken for granted as if it were always present and obvious. The life of faith cannot be separated from daily life in the world.
This was the genius of our father, St. John Bosco. He knew how to be in the midst of his boys, who were very much part of the fabric of 19th-century life, with all of its modern inventions and advancements, along with the spiritual and moral challenges it imposed. He created an environment—the Oratory—which was deeply rooted in the Catholic faith and rooted itself in the fabric of the lives of the young, who went about living in this modern world. Don Bosco led the young to see their vocation as honest citizens and upright Christians and challenged them to take their place in society as a leaven of all that is good, holy, pure, and noble. The young became the signs of the Kingdom of God!
The strenna calls us as well to accept the challenge of being a sign of God’s presence in the world. "Like Don Bosco, we live with our feet on the ground and our eyes fixed on heaven." As members of the Salesian Family, this is our call! Do you accept this challenge? Do you recognize your dignity and noble vocation to sanctify the world from wherever you are in it? We will continue to explore this theme in next week’s article.