This week has been a strange one. We started the week with the Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth here in Brussels. The event, focusing on how inclusive growth can be achieved for positive social outcomes, was the successor to the Annual Convention on Poverty. As with that conference, this year Eurodiaconia was heavily involved with members from Denmark and Sweden presenting their work in the speed dating sessions and members from Germany participating in the workshop on migration. Additionally, we were able to run a side event (like a workshop) on Long Term Unemployment and members from Germany presented their work in that setting. We were able to show just how much diaconia is contributing to social cohesion in Europe and working together for the common good.
Tuesday was a different day. The day started with the horror of the Brussels bombings, some of which took place very close to our office. The rest of the week has been spent being thankful for safety and having sorrow for those who have been killed or injured as well as disbelief and outrage.
Yet this is Holy Week, the week where we prepare for Easter and call to mind how Christ travelled towards the cross and then onto resurrection. Some of the days in that first Holy Week were very dark, full of death and sorrow but ultimately they led to light.
So as this strange week draws to a close I am remembering Monday as well as Tuesday – seeing the light that our members bring to people and communities that face many challenges. I hope that we will all know some joy this Easter and be reminded that what we do for the common good is stronger than anything else.
‘The light shines in the darkness….’ John Chapter 1 v 5a