English Mass prepared by El Shaddai in the Cathedral church

Sunday of the Good Shepherd, prayer for vocations

Overweging Preek - gepubliceerd: zondag, 3 mei 2020 - 1088 woorden
Ignacio, bearing witness...
Ignacio, bearing witness...
The group who prepared and read and sung in the celebration
The group who prepared and read and sung in the celebration
Fr. Ruben Torres concelebrating
Fr. Ruben Torres concelebrating

On sunday the 3rd of May we had an English live-stream Mass from our ca­the­dral church, prepared by El Shaddai community (Am­ster­dam chapter). One of the seminarians, Juan Ignacio, told us how the Lord accompanied him and called him to the priesthood.

This Mass can still by followed on the ca­the­dral You Tube channel (Ka­the­draal TV, see link on this web­si­te). There you can hear the nice testimony of Juan Ignacio, which was delivered after the gospel. Fr. Ruben Torres, spiritual adviser of El Shaddai community was there to concelebrate.

At the end of the sermon, you’ll find a prayer in times of Covid-19.



We are glad Ignacio is in our midst, because he is a seminarian and he bears witness to the Lord’s calling and the way the Lord as a good shepherd accompanied him on the path of his vocation

Dear Friends,


We are experiencing an extraordinary and unprece­dented time. The Corona crisis all of a sud­den has put us in a comple­tely different situation from what we were used to have. We cannot explain exactly why this pandemic happens and how this happened; there are human causes we don’t know and we cannot fully understand the wondrous ways of the Lord. But we do can see some of the won­ders He is wor­king, even in this period of the pandemic. We notice, for instance that many, many people are follo­wing the live-stream-masses.

Keep going!

I hope you’ll have some peace in your hearts, that you may find some time to reflect, to meditate, to pray, to read in your bible and other spiritual books, to follow holy Mass on-line, maybe you have lit a candle and opened your bible or missal to create an atmosphere, that’s very good! And for some of you: maybe your life looks a little more like that of monk or a cloistered nun but there is nothing wrong about that. Maybe you will discover that faith, hope and charity becomes stron­ger, or even that the Lord is indica­ting you a new direction for your life. Listen to the Lord, like a sheep of His flock. Keep on going!

Good Shepherd

This Sunday is indeed dedicated to the Lord as a Good Shepherd. We all know the image. It is very popular and has always been. Christians in the first centuries depicted the Lord already as the Good Shepherd wea­ring a sheep on His shoul­ders. They did so in the catacombs in Rome, where they buried their deceased beloved ones.

Romantic? Not so much!

Maybe you think of this good shepherd in a very romantic way: the shepherd, nice and quiet, wal­king with his flock through green valleys and pastures. But no, it is not like that. Please, read the Gospel well: there are robbers and thieves, inten­ding to steal and slaughter and destroy. And, of course, wild animals like wolves were endan­gering the flock and sheep would go astray. So, the shepherd has to be courageous and the good shepherd who knows his sheep, protects them and takes care of them. So, this is what our lives are like as sheep of the Lord’s flock: our life is not just quiet, peaceful and nice, it is full of dan­gers and threats. But, don’t be afraid: the Good Shepherd is there to protect us and to give eternal life. So, that is how the Lord is.

Vocation to the priesthood

And this, too, is what a priest is meant to be! A priest is meant to be a Good Shepherd at the image of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a beautiful vocation, but it takes courage. Several priests told me, for instance, that they were called to administer the sacra­ment of the sick to people suffe­ring seriously from the Corona-virus. They did so, of course, clothed in protective suits. The Good Shepherd is there, where the sheep needs him to be.

Good from evil

Have trust in the Lord’s provi­dence! In 1790 during the French Revolution an anti-clerical terror raged in France, forcing the priests to hide. Secretly they administered the sacra­ments in distant farms. Catechism was ins­tructed priva­tely and first holy communion was often celebrated in the kitchen of a farmhouse while the windows were covered so that the light of the candles could not be seen from outside. One of the boys recei­ving his first holy communion in such a way, was Jean Marie Vianney, at the age of thirteen. He began to look upon the priest as a hero and while his practice of faith continued and increased, he started to feel the vocation to become a priest himself. He became the famous Curé d’Ars, the parish priest of Ars who through mortification and prayer and the grace of God helped hundreds of thousands of people to experience the love of Jesus, to renew their faith and follow their vocation. Yes, God can do good even from evil. In difficult times, in times of crisis He is prepa­ring already for the future, for a new start.

Please, young man!

This we should never forget. He is the Good Shepherd, He walks ahead of you, follow Him, listen to His voice. Your path will lead through dan­gers and threats, but it will lead to life and peace everlas­ting! And let us pray the Lord today, that He will grant His Church many new good shepherds. Please, young man, consi­der this vocation, perhaps the Lord is calling you!


Dear Lord, Good Shepherd, to you we pray

For those who serve and lead in the Church, that they may follow the example of Christ, the good shepherd. For our pope Francis, that the holy Spirit may guide and inspire him in this time of crisis. Lord, hear us

For all the members of the caring professions we pray, especially in this time of the virus with so much pressure on the health institutions, that the Lord may strengthen them and be at their side, so that the Lord’s compassion may be visible in them. Lord, hear us

For young people, that they may consi­der ser­ving God’s people. That all those who are called may hear and understand the voice of the Good Shepherd and be open to His will, Lord, hear us.

For all those who are suffe­ring, especially in this time of crisis, that they may experience God’s consolation and healing power.