All Saints parish, Amsterdam, opens soup kitchen
Bringing people together, building community
Sunday 18 november I visited All Saint's parish in Amsterdam South East (Bijlmer). We celebrated the Holy Eucharist, a beautiful and joyous celebration, and blessed and opened officially the soupkitchen the parish started on fridays. Worldday of the poor was celebrated today and our special prayer was requested for the migrants, many of them who died on their way to Europe or other continents.
A number of volunteers (see picture) together with Father Trinkson, the priest of All Saints church, prepare the soup that is offered in the parish every Friday in the late afternoon. The Soupkitchen (Afrika Huis eettafel) started as an experiment on the 7th of september and was inaugurated offically today with a prayer and the blessing of the meeting room in which it will take place.The charity commission of the diocese decided to give a contribution to make this possible.
The celebration was full of joy with the participation of many members of the community and beautiful singing of the choir.
A member of the community gave a testimony on the situation of the refugees and migrants and more lengthy prayers of the faithful were said by members of the community to pray for them.
The parishioners gave me many, many gifts that will be distributed among the poor.
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am glad to be here with you
and celebrate this holy Eucharist.
I was here for the consecration of All Saints’ church,
that was a beautiful feast;
and now I am here
to witness you as a community taking another new step,
together with your priest, Father Trinkson,
a step to build up the community
and make it grow deeper in harmony,
a step that may support at the same time
the needy in this neighbourhood.
I congratulate you with the soupkitchen,
- Afrika Huis Eettafel -
that we will inaugurate at the end of this celebration
on this day which is proclaimed by pope Francis
“World day of the poor”!
Prayer for the poor and the migrants
Let us pray today especially for all those
who are without the means
to provide themselves a living,
for all those people who can’t find a job,
carry a burden of debts,
live a heavy family situation, and so on...
And in this world there are still so many
suffering from hunger, war, grave illnesses.
Let us pray for the poor
end open our hearts for them.
Today we like to pray as well
for immigrants who passed away in the Netherlands
and all those many, many thousands who died
on their way to Europe and other continents.
This is a tragedy of our time!
People in the rich parts of the world
may try to stop the refugees coming in, but
dear friends, these huge numbers of people
looking for asylum, for peace, freedom
and some prosperity,
are a clear sign
that there is something terribly wrong
in this world:
we did not manage to share what we have
and to build up a more righteous world,
where there is a place for everyone,
where every human being can live in simplicity and peace
and built up a human life
worthy of that name.
Many times the different Popes
have launched appeals to the world leaders
and to all the world,
because we cannot turn Europe in a fortress
that lives in wealth and does not care for others.
We do not have a right to be rich
while others are poor.
We do not deserve more
than others who are needy .
Do not look only at those
who are richer than you are,
but look more and foremost
tho those who are more needy.
Open to others
This whole problem is something
that touches our lives as well.
You may be a migrant yourself,
maybe your documents are not settled or not yet.
Today we pray for you too!
And even if we are well-settled in this country,
we have the duty and the vocation
to be open to others and caring;
as a Christian and Catholic
our lives should be simple lives,
not a display of wealth and richness;
we may have more money or less
but we all have the calling
to be human persons
who make visible by our actions and words
the mercy of God,
to whose image we are created.
That means: we are called to be
caring for others, helping, loving,
and at the same time we should ask for forgiveness
to God and to people we may have harmed.
Only a humble person
can be a truly loving person
and a person of faith.
Be humble, be caring,
have faith, hope and charity in your heart!
And let us ask the Lord every day
that we may be good persons, good Christians,
good Catholics, children of God,
sisters and brothers
of Jesus Christ our Lord,
who out of love
gave us everything.
On that day...
Today’s gospel points
at the day of the coming of the Lord.
Yes, He will come
at the end of our lives
and at the day of the final judgment.
And we all will stand before Him
on that day
when the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light
and the stars will be falling from the sky
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken,
on that day when we will see
the Son of man coming in the clouds,
on that day we hope to be in that number,
in the number of the saints marching
into that new Kingdom,
that world of joy, peace and happiness,
the heavenly kingdom of God!
“Some say this world of trouble
Is the only one we need
But I'm waiting for that morning
When the new world is revealed”.
Don't close your eyes!
Some people do not want to hear
about misery and suffering,
they just want to live their lives,
be happy, no worries,
just working, eating, drinking, dancing
and make fun.
But that’s not real life!
Life is not like that.
If we close our eyes for what’s really there
we don’t live a real and conscious life.
We cannot avoid sufferings
not everything is fine and OK.
Jesus tell us in today’s gospel
that we should not close our eyes,
but recognize the signs of the times
and at the same time be confident and full of hope,
because heaven and earth will pass away,
nothing on this earth will last forever
- don’t put your trust in that -,
life is just a glimpse,
but His word, His love, His mercy, His promises
will not pass away,
they will last forever.