Divine Mercy-feast in the Cathedral church
The 2nd Sunday of Easter was named Sunday of the Divine Mercy by saint pope John Paul II. We celebrated a beautiful Divine mercy-feast in the Cathedral basilica of St. Bavo in Haarlem, organised by the Divine Mercy Apostolate and attended by many English speaking Faithful.
The Phillipine community largely participated in this feast. People from many places like Rotterdam, Roozendaal, Almere, Amsterdam, Purmerend had come. The Divine mercy celebration started at 2.00 p.m. with adoration and confessions, since there is a plenary indulgence connected to the attrendance of this feast. At 3.30 p.m. the Pontifical Holy Mass started. There was a special blessing of the images of the Divine Mercy that people brought with them and a blessing for those who celebrated an anniversary. The Divine mercy Apostolate was completing its 10th year of activities in the Netherlands. After the celebration there was plenty of time to meet each other and to share some food and soft drinks.
De foto’s onderaan deze pagina zijn van Ruud van Heek, die ik hartelijk bedank!
We celebrate today the love and the mercy of God
with the gift of this special celebration
and the plenary indulgence.
The love and the mercy of God
are not a kind of cheap type of kindness.
If we visit a shop, a car dealer or a restaurant,
the waiter or salesman will be nice and kind to us.
If we attend a reception or feast
we try to involve in kind conversation with others.
This is a love or a kindness that normally
does not require much from us.
It is already quite different
if we have to deal with a person
with whom we do not have a good relationship,
someone who harmed or cheated us, for instance.
There we come a little closer
to the love that God cherishes for us,
since the love of God does not come
in response to the marvellous things
we have done for Him
and he is not giving us His love
because He can await something in reverse,
like a waiter or salesman,
No! His love is an injured love,
a wounded love.
We can not fall out of His love
because of our wrongdoings;
if we forget Him,
He does not forget us.
He loves us with an infinite love
He loves us in an indissoluble way
and whatever we did,
He is ready to forgive us.
That’s why we call His love merciful.
This love is our greatest joy;
to be beloved just as you are,
not because of your achievements,
is the greatest treasure we can possess.
If we look at human relationships,
the love of parents for their children,
the love of man and wife in marriage
come closest to this love of God.
This love is not just about feelings,
it is above all about
a firm desire, intention and resolution
to be a loving, serving, positive person.
Not a happy family
There are many, many persons in this world
who have to suffer a lot,
not only because of wars, famines and persecutions
but also due to a difficult family situation.
So many children do not grow up
in a happy family.
Some of them continue their own lives,
what they had seen at home.
We can’t blame them too much
because they never experienced
a real love in their families.
A source of grace
But some of them discovered
that there is at least One
who loves them with an unconditional love;
the Divine mercy for them is a source of grace and help,
to live their own lives
in a different way from what they experienced themselves.
Yes, we all have a loving Father;
and we have a Brother
who gave His life for us,
and a Spirit was sent into our hearts
pouring out there faith, hope and love
and good intentions and desires,
to spread around us
a climate of mercy and reconciliation.
That is what Jesus wishes His disciples and all of us
in today’s gospel:
Peace be with you!
He shows His hands and His side,
the signs of His suffering
and He sends them out,
He sends us:
Carry my peace in your hearts,
spread my peace in this wold,
that peace comes through mercy!
How is it possible?
Sometimes people ask:
But how is that possible?
If we look at the universe,
it is so big,
there might be millions of planets,
billions of stars,
and how many people are there in this world?
How is it possible
that there is a God
who loves each person
with a personal love?
How can there be a God
taking care of me,
in any personal way?
Not a human being
The answer is:
Yes, it is true
that Jesus learned us
to use human words
like Father and Lord and Spirit,
to address God
and these words therefore
must be appropriate in some way,
but God is not a human being,
we should not think of Him,
just in human categories.
He is God,
He is like an endless Ocean,
while we are a grain of sand,
He is endless far above us,
He is different from what we are,
He is God not man,
endless far and near to each of us
at the same time:
a Divine mystery,
sublime and close to us,
who came to share our lives;
He is so near to us,
that we can sense His presence,
feel His love.
That is the mystery
of His Divine mercy,
that we celebrate today.
Please, continue your earthly pilgrimage
and try to live always
in the presence of His mercy!