A new social year begins. We left behind past difficulties, while the future ahead of us will unfold day by day. After the vacations we are preparing to go back to everyday life, resuming working activities after the summer break. Projected towards our workplaces full of energy, observing, interacting, contemplating. Along the way we are carried away by the captivating beauty of rows of trees, stopping at the traffic light to look around us. We see laughing youths eating croissants, old people stopping at the news stand to buy the newspaper, a young couple with their toddler purchasing a bottle of milk, and swallows forming embroidered patterns as they fly, appearing to hush the noise of the engines.
Sometimes we bring home from work an indefinable form of laziness, while preserving the joy of one who looks forward to the new year full of surprises of all shapes and colours. As we arrive at the workplace we are all called to decide whether we want to spend our time growing alienated or whether we want to be available to everyone with a sense of responsibility, to build a more humane society rooted in the Gospel.
While acknowledging conflicting feelings resting in our hearts, or pondering not always constructive thoughts, wherever we are the meaning of life invites us to decide with which attitude we want to live: whether to fight against everything and everyone, triggering a climate of competition to prove that we are better than everyone else, or to cooperate with other people to promote a climate of kinship and put our energies in the protection and the care of the common good. Sooner or later we are called to untangle the knots of competitiveness that prevent us from seeing our fellow other as a person and just as a set of elements that cloud over the other’s person entire self, often waging an endless war. In fact, power games don’t further mutual relations in the respect of diversity of roles, and they annihilate the rules enabling the accomplishment of a project … everybody acts and does as they please!
To what extent are we consistent with the Gospel, that we have freely decided to live out, when we are in the workplace? What value do we ascribe to the rules that are part and parcel of our jobs to achieve the goals we set with other people? Do we defend only our own space or do we contribute to improving the working conditions of everyone with no confusion of roles and without conquering power positions by force? Do we stop at the details or are we learning to develop a global vision of the situations in which we are in? Do we constantly verify our living conditions to understand if we are feeling bad for a reason or if we are anxiously seeking whatever is trivial and superfluous? What is the reason for our dissatisfaction and how does the meaning of our life, Jesus Christ and the Gospel, illuminate our daily existence?
Jesus, the Son of God, did not seek to conquer space to exert power. He lived His life shaped in the presence of God and loving his brethren until the end.
He kneeled down to Judas who later betrayed him, to Peter who denied Him, and to the disciples who abandoned Him. He washed their feet, He chose to serve everyone, including those whom He considered His friends and who turned their backs to Him instead, to make it visible, tangible and credible that loving to that extent is possible. Jesus was not filling a void, He was full of love to be freely bestowed, without expected it in return.
In order to be His true witnesses in all corners of the world, Jesus invites us to verify our relations. He sends us out far and wide in proximity of our fellow others to make the first step towards the poor, to jointly fulfil the mission entrusted to us by the Lord. He invites us to build a society based on the respect of fundamental, personal rights, on friendship, justice, solidarity, sharing, peace, acceptance of diversity, on the value of every poor person… Only then does the Gospel become reality and history. Enlightened by the presence of the Spirit of God it reflects the image of Trinitarian love, where everyone perceives the beauty of personal and mutual existence.