Zuster Faustina-feest in O.L. Vrouwekerk
bij haar 75e sterfdag
Het Divine Mercy Apostolate Holland heeft op 5 oktober, feestdag van de heilige Maria Faustina Kowalska, een speciaal feest gevierd ter ere van de 75e sterfdag van de heilige. Deze feestelijke gebedsdag vond plaats in de Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk in Amsterdam met deelname van zo'n tweehonderd gelovigen. Zuster Faustina is de “apostel of secretaris van Gods barmharmhartigheid”.
De afbeelding van Jezus met de rode en witte straal die uit zijn hart komen en de woorden “Ik vertrouw op U” zijn in de hele wereld bekend.
Tijdens deze dag heb ik de heilige Mis gevierd en de onderstaande homilie gehouden:
We, modern human beings,
are very familiar with the idea
that we have to make a good impression:
never a second chance for a first impression.
We, too, are very much used to the idea
that we are in charge and responsible for many things,
that we have to gain a livelihood,
make a good living,
that we are judged from our appearance,
our skills and achievements,
that we are appreciated
for what we have been able to do.
We are worth living our lives
because we make a difference.
But God became man,
He shared our lives
in order to redeem us,
to set us free from the slavery of sin,
to defeat Satan
and to grant us the highest reward:
the kingdom of heaven.
But this Lord,
who is King of heaven and earth
did not so by warfare,
he did not have soldiers or weapons,
he did not even work marvelous things
or great miracles
to set us free and beat the devil.
O, sure, He did work miracles
to help His people to believe in Him,
but the work of His redemption
though being the most important miracle,
is not done through a wondrous work of Jesus,
it came about in a different way:
He opened His heart
and underwent whatever people did to Him,
He suffered, He died for us....
Yes, the passion of the Lord Jesus
was our way to salvation.
O sure, they looked up to Him,
when it came to this point
that He offered His life for us.
They looked up to Him,
but not because He was considered to be
so high and mighty,
but because they raised Him on a cross.
He had the appearance of a criminal,
condemned to death,
a person you are sorry for,
one who is not counted.
The turning point of the history of mankind
was not Alexander the Great, a Roman Emperor,
Napoleon or any of these people,
the history of mankind was turned to the good,
when someone made Himself humble, meek, childlike,
a person who recieves blows and strikes
and who is undergoing this out of love for each of us.
The turning point of history is there
where a man (who is the son of God)
was not taking but giving
and opening His heart
in response to hatred, evil and sin.
This is something marvelous:
to the spear of the soldier
the Lord answers with an outpouring of love and mercy.
Saint Maria Faustina understood this very well.
Born in a poor family
she sensed in her soul at a tender age already
the call to enter religious life.
Her parents were not in favour
and she herself knocked at the door of many convent
asking to be accepted,
but there was no room for her.
Finaly she entered the congregation of the sisters
of Our Lady of Mercy.
Physically she was very weak
almost from the beginning of her religious life,
spiritually she had many mystical experiences.
Her life was short,
like the life of Jesus Himself:
yes, she reached the age of the Lord:
33 years old she was
when she passed away,
deeply united with her Redeemer.
In 1931 she saw the Lord Jesus in a vision
and He asked here to paint an image
according to what she saw:
the Lord Jesus with two large rays
emanating from His breast,
one red, the other pale.
And the Lord said to her:
“I promise that the soul that will venerate this image
will not perish.
I also promise victory over its enemies
already here on earth,
especially at the hour of death”.
Only two years later this painting could be realized
with the result we all know:
it is the image of the Divine Mercy,
venerated throughout the world.
She offered herself for the sinners,
especially for those souls
who have lost trust in the Divine Mercy.
Now sister Maria Faustina is known everywhere
as the apostle of the Divine Mercy.
Today we reflect upon her life
and we thank God for the wonders He worked through he.
Saint Faustina did not do much.
She was a poor girl with a weak health,
she lived a hidden life behind the walls of a convent.
Here again there was no glamorous career,
no incredible achievements, no pomp and circumstance,
no things she did,
but things that Jesus did,
wonders that He worked.
No, sister Fautina had not much to put on her account,
but the Lord worked wonders through her.
It is this what the Lord tells us in today’s gospel:
“You have hidden these things
from the wise and learned,
you have revealed them to the childlike”
The wise and the learned are those
who act proudly upon their own knowledge, their own skills,
their own wisdom;
the childlike are those who recieve everything
like a child
that has to recieve everything from its parents.
Jesus Himself sought to be such a child,
He is the Son by His nature
and so He recieves eternally everything from the Father
and He calls us to be sons in the son,
to be children in the child He is
and to live consciously from God’s gifts.
If you want to recieve God’s mercy,
live like a child,
see and consider your whole life as a gift,
every day again,
a precious gift entrusted to you
by Someone who loves you
and who has sent His Son
and gave His life for you.
And when you manage to do something,
no matter how small,
it is not your achievement in the first place,
it is a gift to you:
the Lord has made it possible,
the Lord made you doing this.
Many faithful are struck by the fact
that when it comes to apparitions and private revelations,
the persons who recieve them
are always simple, modest people, like children:
the children who saw our Lady at Fatima,
Bernadette in Lourdes,
the children in Beauraing
and so on:
those who are childlike
have the eyes to see,
the ears to hear
and the heart to appreciate
the wonders that God works.
So, I would like to invite you
on this feastly day
to renew the child in you,
to renew your simplicity of heart,
your openness for God
and for the miracles He worked in your life.
Trust in His mercy,
not in your strength,
because that passes away,
and it is in fact a gift:
your strength is a gift!
Trust in Him,
for He is there for you always
now and in the hour of your death.