"The value, today, of my ‘yes’ to this companionship"

To look at what is happening to us during this emergency within a broader horizon. Like Pope Francis does. A deacon, awaiting ordination, talks about what he is discovering in these days.

In these last few days, it occurred to me that the deadline to register for the movement’s summer vacation in Pila was fast approaching. Of course, my first thought was that this should be the least of my problems at the moment. Or maybe not? I was struck when Pope Francis, during the general audience, said that we should not forget that there are hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees on the border between Turkey and Greece who are fleeing war and who are asking for help. As if to say: the Coronavirus epidemic does not exhaust the whole of reality. It is, of course, an aspect of reality that is invading our lives today with particular impotence, and we must acknowledge that. But, in this period, it is also clear to me that this circumstance can only be looked at well within a broader horizon, which does not take anything away from the drama of the situation, but which allows me to breathe.

I have in mind some very precise faces that, in these days, have allowed me to experience the radical difference that is introduced when, in all this, the hypothesis of a path that has to do with who I am and what gives substance to my life is introduced. After the recent suspension of almost all the activities we do in our parish, yesterday and the day before, I found myself with a few extra free hours, and I took advantage of them to continue sending out invitations to my priestly ordination. Whilst writing the addresses on the envelopes, I often stopped to think: but who says that we will all be able to celebrate this occasion together? And I imagine that a number of people who will receive the invitation will ask themselves: what planet does he live on? We have more immediate problems…And yet, I sent the invitations out anyway.

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I am convinced, and I already see it in some occasions, that my "yes" is the most concrete contribution I can give to my friends today. Then, we will see what can be done, but this remains true even so. The same dynamic happened when I remembered the approaching deadline for the summer vacation registration. I signed up with enthusiasm, because my yes to this companionship is precisely what determines, in the most decisive way, the alternatives of being or nothingness. It was a way of affirming that there is a precise point in reality, which is this companionship, which makes it possible for me to be aware that reality is not defined by nothing but by being.

Giuseppe, Lausanne, Switzerland