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Netherlands: Christmas message from Bishops. “There is light in the dark clouds of the pandemic”. Reference to the Synod

“We cannot yet celebrate Christmas as before”, but “this allows us to pay attention to the full meaning of Christmas: the coming of Christ in our lives and in the world”. The Bishops of the Netherlands say this in their traditional Christmas message, inviting the faithful to reflect on the meaning of the Incarnation and to see that “there is light in the dark clouds of the pandemic”. Namely in the people who “work to help others and can thus bear witness to the light, love and peace of Christ, as did the angels on Christmas night”. “We are Christ’s hands and feet”, the Bishops write, so we are called to be close to those who suffer. When it comes to taking “care”, the Bishops refer to politicians, scientists, and healthcare workers across the country – saying it is “painful and shocking” that they face opposition –, and also recall the many people “who commit themselves to the dignified care of people in need”. Their thoughts also go to those who “work tirelessly to support refugees at Europe’s external borders”: they create bonds “between people of different religions, philosophies, and cultures”. And on the beauty of bonds, “strength to bring and seek light in the lives of others and in everyday life”, the Bishops end their letter by recalling the event of the Synod, inviting believers “to think together about how we are walking, how we can grow and see the Holy Spirit at work”.

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