1. The yeast of the Kingdom
Certainly God’s kingdom requires our cooperation, but it is above all the initiative and gift of the Lord. Our weak effort, seemingly small before the complexity of the problems of the world, when integrated with God’s effort, fears no difficulty. The victory of the Lord is certain: his love will make every seed of goodness present on the ground sprout and grow.
In the Gospel, the Kingdom comes with Jesus himself: it is his presence, his word – he, the Word made flesh. It is his way of living with people, mingling with people of all social backgrounds, among whom he prefers those whom others exclude. There is a passage from the Gospel according to Matthew that opens a window on the way of being the Kingdom of God as lived by Jesus.
It is an encouragement to discover the meaning of our existence in the awareness that my life is never isolated from everyone else’s. The “I” and the “we” can only exist and live well together. The parable of the yeast and the proposal of this Strenna help us to attune ourselves to the evolution, over time, of the processes that shape human history. The yeast added to the dough needs its own time to ferment; and we too have a responsibility and a commitment in building this human family so that the world may be more liveable, more just, more fraternal.
Today, the Salesian Family of Don Bosco is called to live in the world as leaven, cooperating, starting from its condition as believers, in the construction of a better world wherever we are, regardless of nation, culture and religion. The Church has given a name to this broad field of action: the secular nature of the vocation of the laity.
Don Bosco was able to involve so many people, making them active and enterprising agents of the same dream of salvation for young people. Fr Giulio Barberis carefully noted what Don Bosco said addressing the young people of the Oratory on the evening of the feast of St Joseph, 19 March 1876, just over five months after the departure of the first missionaries for Patagonia.
With humility and a deep sense of gratitude, we recognise in the Salesian Family a great tree with many fruits of holiness. These are men and women, young people and adults who have filled their lives with the leaven of love, a love that is given to the end, faithful to Jesus Christ and to his Gospel.
In fact, young people prepare for life, we accompany them on this journey, and I have no doubt that a very great service that we would render to them, to society and to the Church is to help them become aware of the social role they must play and for which they must prepare. That is why they are also the first to learn that they are called to be yeast in in the human family.