God is not indifferent! God cares about mankind! God does not abandon us! At the beginning of 2016, I would like to share not only this profound conviction but also my cordial good wishes for prosperity, peace and the fulfilment of the hopes of every man and every woman, every family, people and nation throughout the world.
‘Overcome Indifference and win Peace’ was the title of Pope Francis’ Message for the 49th World Day of Peace, celebrated on 1st January 2016. In this powerful message, set in the context of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father highlights the scourge of “Indifference” as one of the fundamental causes of the lack of peace. He explains that indifference is often linked to various forms of individualism which cause isolation, ignorance, selfishness and, therefore, lack of interest and commitment. He stresses the essential contributions of parents & families as well as teachers in helping others to overcome this indifference.
I think first of families, which are called to a primary and vital mission of education. Families are the first place where the values of love and fraternity, togetherness and sharing, concern and care for others are lived out and handed on. They are also the privileged milieu for transmitting the faith, beginning with those first simple gestures of devotion which mothers teach their children.
Teachers, who have the challenging task of training children and youth in schools or other settings, should be conscious that their responsibility extends also to the moral, spiritual and social aspects of life. The values of freedom, mutual respect and solidarity can be handed on from a tender age. Speaking to educators, Pope Benedict XVI noted that: “Every educational setting can be a place of openness to the transcendent and to others; a place of dialogue, cohesiveness and attentive listening, where young people feel appreciated for their personal abilities and inner riches, and can learn to esteem their brothers and sisters. May young people be taught to savour the joy which comes from the daily exercise of charity and compassion towards others and from taking an active part in the building of a more humane and fraternal society”.
The full text of the message can be downloaded using the link below.