Amadeus, Blankets and World Youth Day 2019

We, South Africans are good at this ama- thing.   We have amabokoboko – the national rugby team and amakrokokroko – the Paralympic team and amakwerekwere – a term for foreigners, and no doubt more amas

It was only on 27th January, during the 263rd birthday of Mozart that long dead world-famous musical genius known as d Wolfgang Amadeus that I got a new insight into the name’s meaning.  Amadeus means loved by God and is in fact a translation of one of his baptismal names, Theophilus (incidentally mentioned in the Sunday gospel of the day.) His musical talent was his life’s mission and surely a sign of God’s love. Did you know that he was a competent pianist at age 3? Although he died in near poverty of uncertain causes at age 35 he produced a wealth of the world’s most beautiful music. Any choir member will no doubt know and have sung his Ave Verum.

In Johannesburg at this time many of his works are performed at the annual MOZART FESTIVAL.  On Sunday 3rd February in a musical feast his REQUIEM – a Mass for the Dead will be performed.  Did he begin to write it for his own funeral? His mental and physical state at the time were certainly precarious and he died before it was finished.Found out more at Mozart Festival

Wolfgang Amadeus’ birthday 2019 was shared by 67 BLANKETS FOR MANDELA at one of the events during the Festival; a world record-breaking attempt – the greatest number of people simultaneously crocheting blankets.  737 women, school girls, and some men too, broke the previous record held by Australia. This initiative in memory of Nelson Mandela has already created thousands of blankets for the poor and homeless in its 5 years of existence and is surely an example of the. love of God in action.

Speaking to a quarter of a million young people in Panama last week at the 16th WORLD YOUTH DAY Pope Francis presented his message to youth everywhere focusing primarily on the love of God and love for one another.  He spoke of the dream of the Father’s love, running through our veins, thrilling our hearts and making us dance when we hear the command, “Love one another as I have loved you. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love  for one another.” John 13:34-35

But this love and dream cannot just be a “feel good” thing.or a pious pie-in-the-sky thing.  What does it invite and challenge us to do?  It is “A love that does not overwhelm or oppress, cast aside or reduce to silence, humiliate or domineer. It is the love of the Lord, a daily, discreet and respectful love; a love that is free and freeing, a love that heals and raises up. The love of the Lord has to do more with raising up than knocking down, with reconciling than forbidding, with offering new changes than condemning, with the future than the past. It is the quiet love of a hand outstretched to serve, a commitment that draws no attention to itself.”  WYD 2019

Pope Francis spoke of a future – for the youth, the present – find and share with your elders, but surely they are the link with the past, our memories.   And while we work and pray together may the joy of music, of singing and dancing celebrate the talents and gifts of life in particular of the youth. That is what AMADEUS surely is about.  TR FAMILY WEEKLY 30 JANUARY 2019

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