The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year C

On Thursday, a very cold Thursday, we celebrated Youth Day. I am not sure what there was to celebrate, with sky high youth unemployment rates, the perennial problem of gender based violence and an epidemic of hopelessness amongst the youth. As I have mentioned in a previous Pastor’s Corner, our youth are losing their faith in the democratic dispensation won for them by the blood and suffering of many. Voting statistics indicate that many have already “checked out”.

The only way to reignite their faith in democracy is for us to make use of our democratic rights and make the lives of our citizens better. The only way to convince people that democracy is better than the rule of the “Strong Man” is to ensure that the leadership of our cities, provinces and countries are competent and responsive to the needs of our citizens. The Auditor-General’s report on municipal finances reveals what we have already sensed: chaos, corruption and a worsening spiral of service delivery failure. Democracy is failing not only the youth of our country, but also the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens.

Apart from fixing what it is that we, the adults in the room, have broken, the other important thing we can do is simply to journey with our young people, and to listen to them as they articulate their experiences of suffering and alienation in our country. One such listening opportunity will happen Sunday,26 June, at 11am as we explore Youth, Work and Spirituality.

Fr Bruce Botha, SJ