Covenant of Fraternity
This year, the small and invisible virus Covid 19, has created a world-wide bond that neither politicians nor industrialists, neither great thinkers nor church leaders could have created.
We are one big family. The virus takes the form of a mirror in front of people: Who are you? What is the dignity of the human being? Who is your neighbor?
By: Fr. Heinrich Walter
We celebrate the founding of Schoenstatt in this context. We will renew the Covenant of Love. We will do so in 2020 as a response to the challenges of this time. In this process, we hear the voice of the Pope who addresses humanity as “fratelli tutti”. In February 2019 he signed a document on human brotherhood with the great Imam of Cairo, Ahmad Mohammed Al-Tayeb. It describes the goal of peaceful coexistence in the world. Dignity and brotherhood among peoples is based on faith in one God as the father of humanity.
In the new encyclical “fratelli tutti” the Pope develops this approach. It is about how we live brotherhood in a free society. This is reflected in how we treat the weakest members of society. The Pope reminds us of the biblical story about the Good Samaritan: Who is my neighbor and how do I treat him?
We are all part of humanity, our identity arising from social and cultural relations. But this needs to be lived out daily through our actions, which Pope Francis describes with four verbs: welcome, protect, promote, and integrate. No doubt his gaze is directed at all types of migrants, but not only at them. The four verbs can motivate us through the alliance, in the daily life of the new community that we want to form.
This effort and motivation can be the melody that accompanies us during the day of the alliance. The meaning of all historical dynamics is found for us in the covenant with God. Since we do not know what tomorrow will bring and what our life will be like the day after tomorrow, this covenant gives us strength and security, a home and protection.
This year, the renewal of the covenant has a great social dimension because of the pandemic. In the Shrine we experience again and again the transforming power of love that connects us to many people. We also think about the people we hear or read about, because that destiny touches us. Our solidarity is expressed in small gestures of charity, prayer, mutual support and renunciation.
We collect these contributions so that the climate around us changes, so that fraternity grows in our society. Mary strengthened the spirit of brotherhood among the disciples in the Cenacle. In many paintings, throughout the centuries, she is represented as the woman and mother of the brotherhood. This may be our current plea on the day of the foundation in the year of the pandemic: Educate us in the spirit of brotherly care for others!