© Fides

During Pandemic, Christians Have ‘a Hope to Offer to the World’

Letter from Bishops of Belgium

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“We are sent by Christ, by our baptism. In the face of this pandemic, this world, capable of great generosity, is also caught up in doubt. Let us offer the world our solidarity, our hope, and the joy of the Gospel. May this summer be a good time to rest and connect with the essential. May it also offer us the opportunity to actively seek what God desires for each of us, for his Church and for our world”. This is the invitation addressed to Christian communities by the Bishops of Belgium, at the beginning of summer, in their pastoral letter entitled “Hope to offer”, reported Fides News Agency.

The Bishops recall the “historical” period experienced because of the pandemic, “many people, families, and communities have been hit hard, by mourning, illness, loss of work, isolation”, and invite you to think first of all about them, expressing the solidarity of the Episcopate. “This time of isolation has also allowed us all to observe many gestures of solidarity, many people have donated their time, their talents – they continue -. We believe that God was not absent: despite the moments of darkness, we were able to perceive his closeness and his Easter, stronger than darkness”.

The letter points out that “for Christians, the impossibility of living the sacraments and of being in community was a real test. Staying away from our brothers and sisters put us to the test”, however “this period of isolation has also allowed us to demonstrate a new creativity “in parishes, in pastoral units, in communities, where the baptized took initiatives, inventing new ways to be Church: “We were touched by these gestures of concern, by these concrete services, by this inventive pastoral care. Without a doubt, we also discovered – or rediscovered – some dimensions that routine can sometimes make us forget”. The Bishops, therefore, urge “not to stop being creative, to continue to make our communities more beautiful so that they are more fraternal, more sensitive to the wounds of others and to the thirst of this world”.

Faced with the questions that arise about how the world will be different from the past, with all the social, political, economic, environmental challenges that arise, the Bishops say they have no magic formulas, but invite Christian communities to engage with enthusiasm “drawing resources from our faith and from sharing in our community to discern and act alongside other people and groups in our society”.

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