Last Advent we never thought that for this year, Corona numbers would hit record highs. It has become an art therefore to look at life from a perspective of what is possible, rather than what is not.

Advent rings in a new Liturgical year. The year 2022 looks promising for several reasons: we have much larger Confirmation and First Communion Groups, and once again a nice team of young adults is preparing themselves to be initiated into the Church at Easter 2022.

In addition to the good news at our parish level, it is great to see that on a global level, Pope Francis is inviting us to participate in a synod.

This exciting process of worldwide grassroots consultation will also take place in our parish. Hopefully, it will help us to formulate our vision and mission for our own community which will then contribute to the world around us. More on this subject will be discussed at the Pastoral Council meeting on 9th December.

As in previous years during the season of Advent, the Advent Giving Tree has been set up in Church as well as digitally on our website. Fifty envelopes that can be filled with up to Euros 50 each will go to the beneficiaries indicated on the envelope. During this somber time of Advent, we can bring some joy to those who feel isolated, restricted, or without the means to participate in the warmth and joy of the season of Christmas. Pope Francis reminds us to meet each other in the Doing of Good. This is also why the last Sunday of the Liturgical year – the Feast of Christ the King, is a good reminder of the opportunity to do so.

It is very interesting to see that in less than a century (since 1925), the Feast of Christ the King has gained recognition in all the historical Christian Churches and in hundreds of institutions and parishes worldwide carrying the name of Christ the King.

Earthly royal houses or rulers were not keen on the Kingdom of God idea. Starting with King Herod and throughout history, they saw the church as an outside power interfering in matters of state and their territory.

As soon as the church promotes the Kingdom of God idea by feeding the hungry, sheltering the refugees, setting prisoners free, questioning the divine authority of Caesar-  that’s when political establishments feel threatened.     

The moral awareness and ethical principles that come from the values of the Gospel are considered ‘’a dangerous memory’’  which has caused martyrdom in many countries and continues to happen even today.

A kingdom where the ‘’last shall be first’’ is threatening to first-class citizens and priority cardholders. A pope who defends the equality and dignity of refugees is considered political and revolutionary, in the same way as Christ was.

‘’Whatever you did for the least of mine, you did it for me’’ sounds politically correct when it is based on charity when the donors are in charge. But when it appeals to establishing just structures or fair sharing, then it becomes radical.

The level of quality of life in society is measured by the way we treat each other and our common home, Mother Earth. As Christians, we are ⅓ of the global population, and thus we have an important role to play in the formation of spiritual people with a vision for justice.

If, after a century since this feast of Christ the King was established, we still want to be relevant to the secular world, then a conversion to the Gospel needs to start from within ourselves. If we really believe in the values of the Gospel and put them into practice, then we can make an impact on sustainable politics and the generation of economic profit.

I wish you the blessings of Advent and good preparation for the coming of the Christ child into your hearts and homes, where He may reign in your lives and bless you abundantly.

Fr. Sjaak