Celebrating Pentecost this year, which is marked by the disastrous consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, reminds me particularly of the fact that our Christian holidays are more than mere historic events. If we take them seriously, we must use them also as an invitation to question ourselves, our present life, our view of God and the world.
It would be foolish to pretend that world history began with us. Each and every one of us is entwined in a network of history and relationships. This applies to private and public life, to the local and the international level. This is why the value of caring for one another is so important to us Christians. Sharing a spirit of community is what matters now, especially when we think of those millions of people who are suffering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Or when we realize what life is currently like for billions of people who live below the poverty line. Noah was able to admit pairs of living creatures and save them for the future on his ark. To me, this would imply today that either all creatures will be saved or all of them will perish.
This reminds me of Adolph Kolping who once said: “Our Catholic love is not restricted to one single nation but it reaches out to all the people we are able to help.”(KS II, p. 154)
In that regard the Church – and for that matter all of us who are active in the International Kolping Society – are called to preach the Gospel in an authentic and lively way so that the Spirit of Peace can reach all human beings through justice. Let us remain visible and committed as Christians in the world by standing up for solidarity and justice and for the integrity of creation. Let us use the gifts that we received from the Holy Spirit and let us be vigorous, courageous and imaginative in addressing the current challenges.
Happy Pentecost to all of you.
Msgr. Ottmar Dillenburg, General Praeses