Why God created us with a free will? Divine Mercy feast in Cathedral
Kapel Goddelijke Barmhartigheid ingewijd in kathedraal
We celebrate the Divine Mercy feast on the second sunday of Easter, this year on the 28th of april. In the cathedral church this feast was organized by the Divine Mercy Apostolate Holland together with the Filippino Catholic Community in The Hague. Before the holy Mass started, the image of Divine Mercy, colocated in one of the lateral chapels of the Cathedral church, was blessed. We prayed for the victims of the attacks in Sri lanka. Why God permitted this?
Aan het einde van de Eucharistieviering werden de afbeeldingen van de Goddelijke barmhartigheid gezegend die vele mensen hadden meegenomen. Voorafgaand aan de Mis was er aanbidding en biechtgelegenheid waar velen gebruik van maakten.
In de preek (zie hieronder) stond ik stil bij de vraag waarom God ons eigenlijk een vrije wil gegeven heeft, als de mensheid er zo'n potje van maakt: oorlog, terrorisme, klimaatverandering en vervuiling... het staat allemaal uiteindelijk niet los van die vrije wil...
Many thanks to Divine Mercy Apostolate and all who did so much to have a wonderful Divine Mercy Feast!
Dear brothers and sisters,
We celebrate the mercy of the Lord
in a world that makes it hard for us
to believe in mercy.
We are very much tempted to ask ourselves:
O, Lord, why did you give free will
to human beings,
would it not have been better
if we were like puppets on a string,
so that you could manage all of us
according to your will,
instead of letting wars continue,
terrorist attacks go on
and so many other terrible events happen in this world,
that almost always have some human cause?
Yes, Lord, why didn’t you create us
like puppets on a string,
all human beings doing nothing but your will?
Of course in these days
we pray especially
for the people in Sri Lanka,
many of whom died in the horrible terrorist attacks,
causing deep grief and mourning among many others
and horror and fear in that entire country.
Catholic churches were bombed
and among the victims there are many
of our catholic fellow-believers.
Catholic churches have been closed
in this Easter week,
out of fear for new attacks
with again innocent victims, killed on purpose,
by the free will of Jihadist warriors.
Let us pray for Sri Lanka,
let us pray for a peaceful world,
let us pray that hatred and violence will not prevail.
Why did the Lord permit all this?
Yes, there must be a very good reason
why the Lord did not create us without a free will,
because this free will causes
wars and famines, acts of hatred,
even things like climate change and pollution.
I can only think of one reason
why the good Lord created us like this.
The reason is this: love and mercy;
since there can only be love
if there is a free will
and there can only be mercy
if there is love.
The cause of the most evil deeds in this world therefore
is the same as the cause
of the most beautiful and meaningful acts of a human being:
If we would not have a free will,
our so-called good deeds were just the acts
of a puppet on a string, nothing more,
because we would have been forced to do so
and there would be nothing in it
of our own: no merits, no love, no mercy.
Become like Jesus
Yes the Lord created us with a free will
and at the same time He revealed Himself,
His intentions and the desires of His heart
to saints like sister Faustina.
If we look at the image of the Lord
that was given to us through her,
we are invited to contemplate the mercy of Jesus,
His meekness, His radiating love.
And what really counts is the desire of our hearts
to become more and more like Jesus,
compassionate, humble, loving, meek and sweet
and He wants us to battle for that.
But the Lord granted us some special gifts
to help us to use our free will
in a responsible and truly human way:
He gave us spirit and conscience.
It is the mission of all of us in this life
to develop our conscience
and make it discern good and evil;
it is our mission in this life
to open up our spirits
to receive the Spirit of the Lord
and be guided in our words and actions
by love and mercy.
Rays of mercy
Good Lord, grant us your grace,
that the rays of your mercy
may enter our hearts
and from there go out
to every person we meet
and to every person for whom we pray;
and beyond that:
may your rays of mercy
touch the hearts
of all the world, of every human being.
From the very fact that our good Lord
created us with free will,
we can deduce how much
for Him love and mercy
are the essence of human existence
and the reason why He created this world.
Do not create divisions
Therefore, hatred and violence cannot be
the answer of a true Christian
- of a true Catholic -
to the hatred and violence
Hatred never conquers a heart,
it just creates more violence and divisions,
therefore our words and actions
must be inspired by love and mercy,
even if measures of caution have to be taken
and people have to be protected.
We have to try to bring people together
and make them live like brothers and sisters;
we should not create divisions.
Let our hearts be healed!
So, on this day, this Sunday of Divine Mercy,
let us have a look at our own hearts.
Where do we find it really hard to forgive?
Where do we find it hard not to feel hatred?
Where are we hurt by what others did to us?
Where do we feel the pain, are we wounded?
No, we do not possess a magic wand
which can change our hearts and experiences,
we do not have the magic spell
that makes the pain and hurt feelings disappear,
we are just invited to open our hearts
for Divine Mercy,
let the rays of that mercy enter our hearts
so that step by step
our hearts will be healed.