On Sunday 27 October, our faith community joyfully celebrated the feast of our patron saint, Sint Kwinten (Saint Quentin).
During our bilingual Eucharist, just as every year, the statue of Sint Kwinten was in front of the altar. This ancient, weathered statue serves as a symbol of the many faithful who throughout the centuries have shed their blood for Jesus and their fellow human beings. In his homily Fr. Ger-Jan, osa, reflected on the Gospel reading of the day (Luke 18, 9-14), with its parable of the pharisee and the tax collector:
“The Evangelist Luke offers us this morning a beautiful biblical image, one which you could hang up as a painting or a print in your living room. Yet the image contains a hard message. The pharisee thinks that he is close to God, while in reality he is far away from Him. The tax collector realizes how far away he is from God, owing to his own behavior, admittedly … yet, how close he is to God!”
“With whom do we most identify this morning? I have one piece of advice: don’t answer too quickly! It’s not about different groups of people, it’s about two different lifestyles. Because even at the time of Jesus, not all pharisees were hypocrites, and not all tax collectors were penitents. There are often teasing ambiguities in Jesus’ parables. We don’t want to be the sinful tax collector, but neither do we want to be the arrogant pharisee. Maybe we come to the realization that both attitudes are united within us. Sometimes the accent is on the one, sometimes on the other. If we don’t judge others too quickly, we come to know our place. And only then can we return home justified.”
During the offertory procession, children brought forward lit candles, which were placed in front of the statue of Sint Kwinten. A captivating moment: young children around this old statue, yesterday’s Church meeting tomorrow’s Church.
At the end of the celebration, Pater Juan Carlos Tinjaca, ss.cc, introduced himself as the new pastor/moderator of the Pastoral Zone ‘Leuven aan de Dijle’ and wished us all a happy feast day.
Following the Eucharist, brunch was enjoyed in the Sint-Kwintenshuis. Select cheeses, deliciously diverse breads, smoked salmon with homemade sauce, all varieties of meat, a pot full of soup, cupcakes, cakes, and Conrad’s famous fruit salad were served, alongside delicious wines, fruit juices, and soft drinks.
We also celebrated the birthdays of Dominique and Katrien. Young and old, from near and far, could celebrate this feast as a way of growing closer together as one faith community.
Many, many thanks to all who made this feast possible!