On Saturday Pope Francis received at the Vatican participants of the world meeting “Yo Puedo”, a project inspired by his encyclical “Laudato Si” and reminded them that they can be part in the plan of God’s creation.
I like to see beauty in action in your daily work. A beauty formed by the sharing of many small gestures. I am reminded of the art of mosaics, in which many pieces are integrated to form a larger image. Seen up close, those little pieces of stone seem to have no meaning, but together they create an amazing vision.
In our Jewish and Christian tradition, beauty and goodness are linked inseparably. For example, in the book of Genesis we read that God – in creation – separates the different elements of the world, light from darkness, earth from water… He inhabits the land of plants and animals and, when everything is ready, He creates man and woman. At the end of the creation of everything we read: “God saw that it was good”; and for man and woman: “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good”.
The term “good” in Hebrew has a very broad value and can be translated not only as good but also as harmonious. It is a polyphonic harmony, made up of beauty, goodness and sharing. Creation amazes us with its splendour and variety and, at the same time, it brings us back down to earth, making us understand what our role in the world is in the face of such greatness.
When we look with amazement and admiration at the sky and the stars, or at the murmuring of a stream with its clear waters, our mind is led to contemplate the author of such beauty, a treasure given to mankind, who in turn must cultivate and guard it. In Sacred Scripture, therefore, there is a very close relationship between beauty and goodness understood as service to others.
Just as God has made the work of His creation available to human beings, so human beings themselves find their full realization by giving life to a “shared beauty”. We are faced with a “key” of the universe, on which its survival also depends: this key is the plan of God’s covenant. It is a question of recognizing the intention that is written in the beauty of creation, that is, the Creator’s desire to communicate, to offer a wonderful message to those who can interpret it, that is, we human beings.
We must not delude ourselves “that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with something which we have created ourselves”. Sometimes we too, without realizing it, fall into this temptation, when our “I” becomes the centre of everything and everyone. Instead, dear friends, this project of yours, inspired by the Encyclical Laudato si’, rightly says that we cannot be ourselves without the other and without the others. We must not be deceived and fall into the trap of exclusivity. You have understood that “I can” must become “we can together”. Together it is more beautiful and more effective! I can, we can, together.
Together, certainly, with teachers. A cordial greeting and thanks to all the teachers who accompany this project with their valuable work. We are all called to build a “global village of education”. This is a beautiful phrase: “global village of education”. Where its inhabitants generate a network of human relationships, which are the best antidote to all forms of discrimination, violence and bullying. In this great village, education becomes the bearer of fraternity and the creator of peace between all the peoples of the human family, and also of dialogue between their religions.
Together, of course, with parents. This is decisive for the success of your initiatives. Parents not only contribute to the final realization but, at the same time, participate in the educational project through a beautiful confrontation consisting of curiosity and novelty. We adults can also learn from young people who are at the forefront of nature conservation.
Dear boys and girls, I see in you a courageous trust. Yes, the trust and courage of a project for environmental and social improvement that is becoming real; a project that can leave its mark. You made the right choice: you looked away from the screen of your mobile phone and rolled up your sleeves to serve the community. And you also put your mobile phones at the service of this commitment! Creativity and imagination have made your initiatives even more interesting. You have shown that artificial intelligence alone cannot provide the human warmth we all need.