COMECE Assembly “Autumn 2018”
Mgr. Kockerols' homily during the Holy Mass in Ypres
European Bishops commemorated all victims of the First World War in a major event held today, 24 October 2018, in the city of Ypres (Belgium) in the context of the COMECE Assembly “Autumn 2018” dedicated to the upcoming European elections. Here the text of Mgr. Kockerols' Homily during the Holy Mass celebrated at the Saint Martin's Cathedral in Ypres.
Just 100 years ago, here, nothing was left. Just ruins.
And worse : thousands of dead people. So many oung men and women.
It had been so awful that this war has been called "the Great War". No one could then imagine it could be worse. So this had to be the last one ! But we know that 20 years later, they started again. In no other time of our human History, there have been so many wars as the last 100 years.
With you today, some bishops of whole the continent, w ho came here to pray for peace.
But peace, what is it ? It does not mean no war. No. Look to Corea, divided into two countries since more than 60 years. Is this peace ? No. So, what is it ?
Peace is a mission, a task, and a desire. Peace is first of all not to be indifferent. And to fight against this. "It oesn't matter. I am non interested aboiut what my neighbour is experiencing. About what happens in another country, on another continent. Let us stay, each one in his own place."
To fight against being indifferent, means
- learning to know the other
- and knowing the other, to learn to respect him
- and respecting the other, learn to appreciate him, and even to love him.
- and if I love, it means that there is place for forgiveness and reconciliation.
So, why are we praying for peace ? And why are we praying here with you ?
Because of Jesus, who shows us the way. He revealed us a God who wants to know our humanity, wo want to respect it, who wants to love it and finally who wants to forgive an reconcile us. Peace is actually a gift of God.
So we are here to ask the Lord to strenghten us, ton enable us to do as Jesus did. To learn to know each other, to respect us, to love us and to forgive us.
If we accept this mission with you, if we pray together, then we are stronger. Thank you, children of Ypres, to help us. Yes, thank you very much. Let us work together for peace and let us pray for this peace. Amen.
+ Jean Kockerols
titular bishop of Ypres