Are you happy to waste your time in listening?
EAO Good Night Talk (49) – Dili, Timor Leste — Dear Friends and Salesian Family members, receive a heartfelt Easter greetings again from Dili, Timor Leste, one month after our annual EAO meeting of provincials and delegation superiors. Yesterday I have returned from the short intermediary General council meeting in Rome, where we discerned with the Rector Major the theme and path towards the next General Chapter 28 (2020). Today we also remember the 230th Birthday of Mamma Margaret [Margarita Occhiena], mother of Don Bosco [1788 – 1856] as well the anniversary of Don Bosco canonization day in 1934.
During past two months moving around Indonesia and Timor Leste, I met hundreds of young people who are growing with the Salesian Family members and spent long hours in listening, in dialogue and deep insight in the hearts of our confreres. I try to treasure especially many questions raised. And now, entering the Eastertide, my attention is attracted by the Emmaus story of Jesus who walks along the disappointed disciples. Yes, Jesus didn’t hesitate to waste his precious time in listening. And what about me, what about us today?
We might fall easily in temptation to cut short a long annoying talk of our fellow confrere, lay mission partner or our young animator. We might be tempted to consider this a ‘waste of time’, because we already ‘know’ what will come out. We could gain few minutes but in this way we close our heart to the confrere, lay person or to the young. We recognize again, the most frequent blame raised by the young or lay people: “Salesians have no time listen to us.”
Starting these 50 days of Eastertide, I turn the eyes of my heart on Jesus walking and listening on the way to Emmaus. Oh, it’s a wonderful image to consider! Yes, it’s not easy to talking the walk with patience and deep interest in the life of our youth, lay and confreres! I’m asking the grace to follow Jesus in his humble attitude of a friendly assistant, who walks together with the young and guides them to the true life.
Yes, I’m happy to waste time in listening to the young people and my confreres!
Lord, speak! Your servant is listening! (1 Sam 3, 10)
I wish all of you a joy filled Eastertide!
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
EAO Regional councillor