Our world today is filled with this quest of self-discovery and self-dependence. There is even a constant push for isolation and belief in self-sustenance that can lead us to God, almost as if we see an end in ourselves. The psalmist puts it clearer: in vain do men labor if the Lord does not labor with them. The command of Jesus to the apostles in Luke 5:1-11 to put out into the deep is a sincere call that obedience to God makes our burdens bearable. How often are we silent enough to listen? We must be quiet and let God take control by leading us. He always leads us to greener pastures, but obedience makes the following easier and simple.
I invite us to spend sometime each day in silence.
In speaking to many of you about various topics, issues and situations in your life, I thought of these two simple words: TAKE COURAGE!" Courage is the will to move on against all odds while trusting that all will be well.
Our world, our Church and our lives today are very challenging. We feel all these disappointments, tensions, setbacks, worries and trying moments. Darkness seems to be calling on darkness. There are moments when all we see is a darkness. Amidst all these, the most striking solace is God. Courage in him is not a guarantee of no toils or pain but an assurance that following him – the way, the truth, and the life – brings an amazing hope that all can be calm. We are urged therefore to live our lives with courage and hope in him, because cut off from him we can do nothing.
St. John Bosco is known universally as the Patron Saint of youths. Therefore, in a very special way, he is our patron as Jornadistas. Personally, he is my favorite saint as I look to him or his intercession, example and friendship. So I beg you to pray for this movement and one another; that we may strive to be a saint like him. Please pray for me, I want to be another St. John Bosco. So help me God!
St. John Bosco lost his father, Francis Bosco when he was barely two years old, leaving him to the care of his poor mother, Margaret and his step-brother Anthony. From that tender age, John Bosco understood what it meant to be a father.
But he was equally gifted and was always outstanding among his peers. That also made him a very influential figure among them. With his gifts, even before aspiring to the priesthood, he had already influenced his peers, the youth, to a more positive life. It is a very big lesson for the youth and all of us: we don’t need to be priests or religious, mothers or fathers - to evangelize. We are all called to use our talents, time and treasure to bring others to Christ.
To evangelize is not so easy as we may have to endure being plagued by all sorts of oppositions, from both internal and external forces. St. John Bosco faced great opposition with his ministry among the youth. Both the government and the Church authority fought to stop him. But he held on to God with a heart full of assurance of faith.
Are we also passing through turbulent times because of our faith in Christ? Do not be afraid to keep your lamp burning brightly for all to see (see Mark 4:21-25) because the one you serve never sleeps nor slumbers; he will never desert you. May he always be by your side to lift you up when all seems to be turning against you.
And like Don Bosco, may we search for the lost and forgotten. Today, in celebration of his feast day I ask all Jornadistas to invite one person to group this week (perhaps a new J or an older one who has been forgotten about). We must never stop living our mission - Youth Evangelizing Youth.
Peace be with you.