News from Jerusalem
Fr Gianni Caputa, who teaches at the Salesian Theological College, Ratisbonne, Jerusalem, has sent the following news of celebrations for the Feast of Saint John Bosco.
While tumultuous events seem to be engulfing many parts of the Middle East at the moment, and we do not forget our Salesian Family in Tunisia and Egypt (and Sudan, and in many other parts of that region), there was time and tranquility in Jerusalem, on Sunday 30 January, for the Salesian Family to solemnise the Don Bosco's Feast day in the Latin Rite with a children's Mass in a local Parish. The youth choir sang together with the students of theology. The Franciscan Parish Priest, Fr Firas Hijazeen commented on the day's Gospel in his homily: "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth". Fr Gianni Caputa provides us with an overview of the commentary.
The message was that Don Bosco, along with saints generally, imitated the meekness and generosity of Jesus. Jesus treated every one with meekness and compassionate love. He did not enter Jerusalem with arms, but riding on a humble donkey. In the garden of Gethsemane he cured the servant whose ear Peter had severed with the sword.
Don Bosco was a meek person; he chose to stay with the poor and spent his whole life in the service of young people. He wanted to make Jesus known to them, not only with his words, but above all with his personal example of a humble and gentle style of life. Because of this, now, after nearly 200 years, his spiritual children have spread across the world. We can really say that Don Bosco 'inherited the earth', morally and spiritually in the first instance.
In our modern cultures, humility, simplicity and meekness are little valued, and those who practise them are considered insignificant. To the contrary, Jesus, the saints, Don Bosco, show us how to be humble and simple. They teach us to choose the path of generosity, with trust in God who operates with a long-term vision. When we look at the picture of Don Bosco, his eyes strike us. His vision seems to go beyond the immediate, to penetrate beyond appearances. He was a man of the future, and therefore invested in the education of the young.
"With the celebration of Don Bosco's Feast today, we thank Don Bosco's children who continue his work with meekness and simplicity. We wish that the Lord also grant them vocations from the Holy Land - from Jerusalem".
You can see a video on this subject in the Franciscan News from the Holy Land. The item is about 9 minutes 25 seconds from the start.