Lose your life and find it!

Overweging Preek - gepubliceerd: zondag, 3 september 2023 - 894 woorden
Church of the Blessed Trinity-parish
Church of the Blessed Trinity-parish

On sunday the 3rd of September I visited the Blessed Trinity parish in Am­ster­dam. Before and after Mass I met with parishioners and I had a mee­ting with the parish board and discussed with them problems and challenges.

One of the challenges is the parish church that needs an urgent repair. These problems we discussed in the Board-mee­ting. The community is full of live. Next week eight volon­teers start the cathechesis classes for the children of the parish. Especiaaly important is preparation for holy communion and confirmation. Fr. Peter Klos is taking pas­to­ral care of the community and those who have birthday and newcomers receive his special bles­sing at the end of the holy Eucha­rist. The choir sung (for the first time) parts of the Missa de Angelis and other, more popular songs, some of them with a vibrant African rhytm.


What makes you happy?


My dear brothers and sisters,
It is a joy for me
to be able to celebrate this Holy Mass with you today.
I want to encourage you
to remain faithful to your Catholic faith
and live it well
at a time when very many people are actually
mostly concerned with themselves.

It takes a village...

In some African countries they say:
"It takes a village to raise a child"
and those words beautifully express
that you can never do it alone.
Never walk alone,
let us walk together!

What makes you poorer, what makes you rich?

And so it goes in all matters of life:
we need each other!
If you are together with others, live for others,
you also have to make sacrifices
out of love for others,
but, at the end, does that make you suffer?
The sacrifices you have made
out of love for your children,
for you elderly parents,
for a sick neighbour and so on,
do they make you losing something,
do they make you poorer?
No, on the contrary,
they will make your life mea­ningful, worthwile,
and then, only then, you become happy!
Whatever you give, out of love,
enriches you,
it makes your life more fulfilled.


In Am­ster­dam, 80,000 people are extremely lonely.
This is a big problem,
we don't look after each other enough,
there are not enough connections with other people,
our society is not enough
of a "being together with others".

How did this come about?
Why do people live so little
with each other and for each other?
Of course, there is a lot to be said about this,
but part of the problem is also
that many people find it difficult
to go to another person
and because society is geared
towards us all going our own way.
Going out and caring for another
is making a sacrifice,
is losing your life,
but we should not be afraid of such a sacrifice.
Jesus tells us today
that you can only save your life
if you can lose your life.


If you only have to think of yourself,
don't have to take anyone into account,
can go all by yourself, what do you think:
will you become happy?
No, of course not!
You only become happy
when you are connected to others,
to our dear Lord and to your fellow man,
we will become happy
when we have to make allowances for others,
when we give love to others.

Why we are going to Mass?

We go to Holy Mass, of course,
first and foremost to honour God
who has given us everything;
we go to Mass to be inspired
and strengthened by grace
to follow Jesus Christ;
and we go to Mass especially on sundays
to commemorate in the Holy Eucha­rist
the sacrifice and Easter
of Jesus Christ,
because through the mystery
of His suffe­ring, death and resurrection
we have been redeemed.
But the Lord has also called us
to come together and build a community,
for we are called to build each other up in Christ
by sha­ring the faith and suppor­ting each other.


You may be familiar
with Dickens' story of Ebenezer Scrooge
in “A Christmas Carol”.
Scrooge does not want to have anything to do
with the Christmas spirit,
he will not give money for the poor,
he does not care about his fellow man
and is hard on his employees.
Scrooge thinks only of himself
and is therefore all alone and he is not happy.
Then a few dreams lead him to better insights,
his life gets changed comple­tely:
he starts hel­ping his fellow men,
he becomes kind and good to others,
is open to his neighbours
and to people who are alone
and then God and the Christmas spirit
come back into his life.
He becomes a happy man with a good spirit.


So that we should be good to others
and open to each other here on earth
is not just because
we will get our reward from God
after this earthly life
- surely the Lord will repay us -,
but it is also because we will already see here on earth
that our lives will become richer,
more beautiful, more fulfilling and finer
if we are good to others, if we lose our lives.
As Jesus says: he who loses his life will find it,
later in heaven, but also here on earth already!
“Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”.