Jongeren bijeen voor de vrede - Youth for peace in Amsterdam

Internationale ontmoeting van Sant'Egidio

Overweging Preek - gepubliceerd: maandag, 29 augustus 2022 - 1244 woorden
Met jongeren uit Oekraïne
Met jongeren uit Oekraïne
met Marco Impagliazzo, Hilde Kieboom en Colm Dekker
met Marco Impagliazzo, Hilde Kieboom en Colm Dekker
Tijdens de Eucharistieviering
Tijdens de Eucharistieviering

Zondag­mid­dag 28 au­gus­tus was ik in het Bijlmer Sport­cen­trum in Am­ster­dam voor de Eucha­ris­tie­vie­ring met de hon­der­den jon­ge­ren van Sant’ Egidio die naar Am­ster­dam waren geko­men voor de inter­na­tio­nale ont­moe­ting van Youth for Peace.
Here you find the English text of the homily I gave during the final Eucha­rist of the inter­na­tio­nal mee­ting of Youth for Peace.
Qui sotto trovi l'omelia della S. Messa celebrata alla conclusione dell'incontro internazionale di Sant’ Egidio in Am­ster­dam.

Het pro­gram­ma

De jon­ge­ren, afkoms­tig uit een twaalftal lan­den, hebben in een lang weekend niet alleen de stad verkend - onder meer door een boot­tocht door de grachten - maar ook het Anne Frankhuis bezocht en het namen­mo­nu­ment. Zij hebben zich ver­der in dialoog en gebed bezig gehou­den met het thema "Vrede" en in dat kader ook een publieksmani­fes­ta­tie gehou­den. De Mozes- en Aäron­kerk - de kerk waar Sant’ Egidio is geves­tigd - was heel lang niet zo vol geweest met hon­der­den opeengepakte jon­ge­ren staande voor het avond­ge­bed van de Ge­meen­schap. De mensen van Sant’ Egidio van Am­ster­dam en van andere plaatsen hebben een gewel­dige in­span­ning geleverd om alles goed te or­ga­ni­se­ren.


Onder de ongeveer zeven­hon­derd jon­ge­ren was ook een groep jon­ge­ren uit Oekraïne (zie foto) en prof. Marco Impagliazzo, de alge­meen presi­dent van Sant’ Egidio, en mw. Hilde Kieboom, de verant­woor­de­lijke voor de Benelux en voorszitster van Sant’ Egidio Antwerpen (foto).

Bij de Eucha­ris­tie­vie­ring in de sporthal con­ce­le­breerde een zestal pries­ters, waar­on­der mgr. Giancarlo Dellagio­vanna, chargé d'affaires van de Apos­to­lische Nuntiatuur in Neder­land, en Zeger Polhuijs, een Neder­landse pries­ter van Sant’ Egidio. Daar­naast waren er jonge pries­ters uit Parijs en Italië die con­ce­le­breer­den en assis­teer­den er enkele per­ma­nent diakens van de Ge­meen­schap, waar­on­der Colm Dekker.


Global Friendship, Global Peace:

Your Victory lies in Wisdom and Peace

Jon­ge­ren­ont­moe­ting van Sant’ Egidio

Dear Friends,

Dialogue and the rethoric of war

It is a pleasure for me to meet you here in Am­ster­dam. I am pleased that you have gathered for the tenth time from different European countries to meet each other, to reflect and pray together and to experience friendship between young people from different backgrounds, nations and cultures. Your coming together, your dialogue and sha­ring, your prayer as Youth for Peace united with the whole Community of Sant’ Egidio is an important sign in this world where these values of dialogue and prayer are forgotten far too often, while they are often substituted by the rhetoric of war.

Dialogue and prayer

I want to repeat the call Marco Impagliazzo made during the last mee­ting: remain committed to dialogue and prayer! When dialogue ceases, peace dies; if there is no prayer, we lose contact with the source of peace. So please, stay committed to dialogue and, please, create a move­ment of prayer, as Marco Impagliazzo asked you during the previous inter­na­tio­nal mee­ting of Youth for Peace.

An expression of love

Therefore I am grateful that you have come to Am­ster­dam to know the city, its story, its beautiful buil­dings and monu­ments and to learn about Sant’ Egidio in Am­ster­dam and its commit­ment to peace and friendship with the poor, which is an expression of love for this city and the people who live here.


Many passages of the Old Testa­ment invite us to seek wisdom. Wisdom is very important, especially in a time of fake news and the rhetoric of war. How can we acquire wisdom? I think we need to listen to the experiences of others, to the wise words you receive in your community and to Jesus Christ and to what he puts in your heart.

When Jesus was born...

The source of true peace is Jesus Christ. When He was born, the angels sang of peace on earth. There was harmony around his birth: simple people, rich and poor, shepherds and kings of orient, wise man, magi, came to visit. There had been peace among the people visi­ting the man­ger, with this powerless newborn King in their midst; they were connected in prayer, simplicity, humility and friendship, sha­ring their experiences. That peaceful harmony continued despite the simple, humble circumstances, until King Herod felt threatened and cruelly distur­bed that peace with the massacre of the Innocents. Peace was over and gone, when one ruler felt threatened and when his central purpose became power.

Peace I leave with you

On the last night of his earthly life, Jesus spoke of peace again: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14, 27). That peace was brought about because Jesus Christ gave himself, He humbled himself and sacrificed his life on the cross. And after his resurrection his first wish to the apostles was again: Peace be with you. How can this peace be with us? We will have this peace if we dare to give ourselves with Jesus and trust in God's provi­dence who will in the end everything lead for the better. He calls us all to be brothers and sisters of one another.

A Victory

Do we dare to believe that it is not a power play that is needed to gain a real victory? Do we dare to believe that victory is in obtai­ning that peace that foreshadows eternal life? What do we choose: A power play or humble service? Friendship or domination? Fear or trust?

Places of honour?

In today’s gospel our Lord clearly shows us those two ways: the lea­ding Pharisees are watching Him closely and the guests are pic­king the places of honour. That is a form of power play, a desire to dominate. Jesus recommends to us a different approach: “Take the lowest place and sit there, don’t invite who will repay you by invi­ting you in return, but invite the poor”. Do not invite others for an earthly reward in the form of money, pres­tige or as a tactic to rise higher, but do it out of love and friendship. Seek wisdom, seek peace, seek Jesus.



Cari amici,

Il posto migliore?

Gesù ci invita oggi ad essere umili e semplici. Non scegliere il posto migliore per te stesso, non limitarti a tenere i tuoi pasti per i tuoi amici ricchi e le persone di cui potresti beneficiare. No! Perché così ti stai di fatto chiu­dendo nella tua cerchia. Allora dividi il mondo nei “nostri" e le persone a cui non è permesso appartenere al nostro gruppo. Questa separazione, questa esclusione non contribuisce alla pace, ma piuttosto alla divisione. È la divisione che spacca il mondo.

In cerca di amicizia

Ma quando chiediamo perdono per i nostri errori e con le nostre parole e le nostre azioni cerchiamo di creare unità e comprensione reciproca, quando siamo in cerca di amicizia con i poveri, i ciechi, storpi e zoppi, quando mettiamoci al ultimo posto, quando siamo umili e semplici, allora guariamo le divisioni, creiamo unità e lavoriamo per la pace. Quando si allarga l’amicizia, si allarga la pace.


Allora, sono grato per il vostro impegno per la pace, per l’amicizia con i poveri, con migranti e profughi, con i senzatetto, gli anziani e persone abbandonate e sole. Grazie di essere venuto! Non scoraggiatevi, continuate a cre­dere nell'importanza del vostro impegno per la pace e l'amicizia!


Klik op een foto voor een uitvergroting.