People cannot continue to be blind to the increasing poverty in Belgium and Europe, Cardinal Jozef De Kesel said on Tuesday at the midnight mass in Saint-Rombaut Cathedral in Malines, adding that the cases of child poverty were even more painful. In his homily, the cardinal observed that a large number of people, “more than we think” have a hard time making ends meet as a result of financial problems. Close to 16% of the Belgian population present a risk of poverty, he added, noting that this situation “affects a person’s dignity”.
“If the gap between rich and poor becomes too great, it is also a threat to society itself,” he stated. “Justice and the equitable distribution of income and goods are a real basis for understanding between peoples and peace in the world.”
The cardinal noted that even if the word “saviour” is not longer used often, the deep conviction that change is possible lives on, in spite everything, in every human being, believer or not. “We are rather on our guard each time that any leader or an ideology claims to be a solution to all our problems,” he said. “But at the same time, it is a word we do not manage to forget because, deep within ourselves lives a very strong desire, one we often do not even express, for something or someone who can really save us.”
It is not possible for poverty and injustice, war and violence, hate and lack of love to be the forces that continue to dominate everything, Cardinal De Kesel stressed. “‘Today a Saviour is born unto you’, that is the message is Christmas; a saviour who delivers us above all from indifference and self-sufficiency.”
The Brussels Times