If you feel hurt...
Solemnity of the most holy Trinity
On the Solemnity of the most holy Trinity I celebrated an English Mass for El Shaddai community. It was their last celebration in the cathedral church, where they moved to so that they could have live streamed Masses. Now they are moving back to Amsterdam. At the beginning of the homily I expressed my gratitude for the many good wishes conveyed at the occasion of my start as a bishop of the diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam.
It was the first sunday that a small group of faithful was again allowed to be present (30 persons), others participated through live-stream.
If a person has hurt your feelings...
Dear brothers and sisters,
First of all
I would like to thank
the many faithful
who participated in last Monday’s celebration
when I took over the diocese
from bishop Jozef Punt,
who served our diocese for twenty-five years.
May the Lord bless him
and give him good health!
Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.
And please continue to pray for me
and for the church in our diocese,
that the Lord may bless and guide us,
may He show us His mercy
and may Our Lady, the blessed mother,
obtain for us all graces needed
to be and become more and more
a vivid Catholic Christian community!
Maybe it happens to you
- like it happens sometimes to me -
that you feel angry or sad
because of what somebody did to you.
If a person close to you, for instance,
hurts your feelings,
is offending you
or disregards what is important to you,
you will feel a pain,
this makes you suffer
and if this behaviour shows
a repeated pattern since many years,
it may re-open
a whole history of old inner wounds in your heart:
again this person is doing this or that to me.
Forgiving is an exercise
If this happens to you
that forgiving is an ongoing exercise,
it is never done, once and for all,
but again and again
we have to turn our back
to hatred, aversion and cursing;
we have to do so
even if we do have good reason
for hating and cursing a particular person,
even if we have strong feelings
and feel humiliated.
We have to walk a road
leading to forgiveness.
But, don’t worry,
it is not the result that counts most
- whether or not
you succeed in overcoming those feelings -
but above all is important
that you really want to do so,
that you are longing for this peace.
A gift that is greater
And in all this is most important
that you realize
that this hurtful and unkind behaviour of others
is not the essential reality of your lives.
The most essential reality of your lives is:
that you have a Father God
who is merciful and gracious,
rich in kindness and fidelity,
like today’s first reading said;
and that this God and Father
- as the Gospel said -
gave you His only Son,
so that you may not perish
but have eternal life.
He is indwelling in you
through the holy Spirit
who was sent as a gift in your hearts.
So if you feel hurt,
turn to those positive things
that are more essential and real
in your lives
than every evil.
You may feel hurt, but you have a Father...
Maybe, someone was not there for you,
he or she might have been selfish
or maybe he/she had other reasons;
It would surely help you
if you could understand some of these reasons;
you may feel hurt,
but turn your mind and heart
to this Father,
who is a loving and caring God,
who sent you His Son,
who sent you His Spirit.
Turn to the miracles
Here you find a very good reason
why you should keep in mind
what the Lord has done to you.
Remember His blessings, His gifts.
You might even want to write them down,
because in times of sadness,
when you feel abandoned,
it will be good and helpful
to keep them in mind
and to turn to the miracles
the Lord worked in your lives.
His help in the past
and that He brought you to this day,
may strengthen you
to be convinced of his help in the future,
to trust and be confident
that the Lord will brighten your days again
and grant you His peace.
You are already saved by Him!
The final word with regard to you
will not be a nasty remark,
a refusal of help,
an offence or disrespect,
no, you will meet
“a merciful and gracious God,
slow in anger, and rich in kindness and fidelity”(first reading).
The most holy Trinity
Today we celebrate the mystery
of the most holy Trinity.
God is one,
but He is not a monolithic bloc:
he is a compassionate Father,
He is the Son, God and man,
whom we are invited to follow,
He is the holy Spirit,
who is dwelling in us
and giving us guidance.
In His name we are baptized,
we are His beloved children,
He is love.
And in the midst of sufferings
we are invited to turn to this love.