The New Year’s greetings come from Loppiano through the voices of children. A shout of joy, but also an appeal to our responsibility.
It is Monday, December 28. In the Theotokos Shrine, as soon as the evening Mass ends, Rafael and Laura run to the altar to blow out the two large candles. They do this every time they come to Mass with their mother Daniela and father Rodrigo, who are Brazilians and have been living in Loppiano for about two years. They do it with spontaneity, but also with a certain solemnity. Rafael feels at ease at the altar: before Covid he was an altar boy and he did it with great pleasure. He suddenly became docile and quiet, and from the altar he would wink at his little sister. He also taught her that coming down the steps you have to take a bow, but the first time she did it on her own, she got confused and turned not to the altar, but to the pews still full of people who were about to burst out laughing.
But back to Monday night. Laura on her way back, after “operation candle,” stops in front of the large nativity scene. First she caresses one of the Magi, then she kneels in front of the Baby Jesus. She stayed there for a few minutes and didn’t even get up when she realized that her photo was being taken. Everyone in the church remained silent in front of that scene. What must Laura be asking of that Child?
This year, from Loppiano, our wishes for the New Year come to you through the voices of the children. Laura, Rafael, Renata, Anna and Giacomo, Desideria, Anna and Bianca, Mattia and Alice, Rebeca, Arianna, Chiara and Raffaela, Mirko and Mael, Teresa and Diletta, Isabel, Lucio tell us, or rather almost shout their “Happy New Year!” to us. And it is a wish that makes us happy, but also makes us think. Doesn’t what they ask of the Child Jesus, what they wish and wish us for the New Year, call into question our responsibility? Aren’t we, adults, the ones who have to roll up our sleeves to build a world where they, the little ones, can continue to be happy? Shouldn’t we be the first to do all we can to protect and defend Mother Earth, the Common Home, which we will soon deliver into their hands? We are committing ourselves to “#DaretoCare”, that is, to “Dare to care”, and we will care for children only if we succeed in making love grow in all environments, that mutual love that is the only atmosphere in which children grow up healthy, happy, whole, because they know they are loved. So, HAPPY 2021!