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18/06/2013: Australia


Dear Brothers, Friends and Colleagues
“That’s just not fair!” 
How often have you heard a child or younger student burst out with this exclamation or something similar, quickly 
puffed up in righteous rage when they feel that they have been treated inconsistently or unfairly? It’s hard-wired into 
them – a sense of fairness, a nose for favouritism – and from a very young age they have no hesitation in giving voice 
to it. The surest way to lose respect with the young is to show undue favour or differential treatment among them. 
Don’t just love them, Marcellin reminds us, but love them all equally. It’s the same in a class, in a school, in a family, 
in a team, in any group.
As students move towards adulthood, and they come to appreciate the world as a place in which they are not the 
centre, the best of this deep instinct develops into a more broadly-based sense of justice. Indeed, as evangelisers, it is 
incumbent upon us to lead them to an awareness of the extent to which privilege and injustice work against the reign 
of God in the world. But that’s usually not a difficult thing to do with young people, because they innately understand 
it. After all, they are in essence in the image of God. And they are ready to try to right it.
The release last week, on the champagnat.org site, of the song which is the theme of next month’s International 
Gathering of Marist Youth in Brazil ahead of World Youth Day, taps into this instinct of youth. “Let’s change the world!” 
the lyrics of the song proclaim; “let’s be the love” to do that. Let’s bring Mary’s heart as we share in Jesus’ mission 
of love and unity. Like Marcellin, let’s work to make the world a more just place. Have a listen: http://www.champagnat.org
How many youth festivals over the years – no more so than here in Australia – have drawn on a justice theme? And so 
they should. While gratitude and other virtues are essential traits to cultivate in young people, it would be a neglectful 
thing if it were at the expense of taming this deeply instinctive sense of justice in them. But tamed it often becomes 
in us as we age. Sadly. Sad indeed, because it can represent a taming of Christ-life in us. 
Thank God for young people who keep the world young. 
Brother Michael Green fms - NATIONAL DIRECTOR

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