Vormsel en aanstelling in Filippijnse gemeenschap
Dat de Filippijnse katholieke gemeenschap in ons bisdom een zeer levende kerk is, mocht ik deze Pinksterzondag weer ervaren. Op zondagmiddag werd in Hoofddorp, in de Sint Joannes de Doperkerk, niet alleen de nederdaling van de heilige Geest over de apostelen gevierd, maar ook de komst van Gods Geest over 22 vormelingen en de aanstelling van Marcel van Lochem tot buitengewoon bedienaar van de heilige communie.
Verschillende Nederlanders die met een Filippijnse zijn getrouwd, zijn ook zeer betrokken bij deze gemeenschap. Kapelaan Ruben Torres die naast zijn werk in de parochie van Nieuw Vennep zorg draagt voor de Filippijnse gemeenschap concelebreerde. Hij had de vormelingen met een vrijwilligster op deze grote dag voorbereid. Onder de vormelingen waren ook 'bekeerlingen' tot het katholieke geloof. Een ritmisch en charismatisch koor luisterde de viering op met mooie en aansprekende liederen. Pastoor Cees van Lent sloeg alles welwillend gade. Ondanks het middaguur op een warme zondag waren velen gekomen om deze viering mee te maken en op deze wijze samen het Pinksterfeeast te vieren.
Het was tevens een mooie gelegenheid de Filippijnse gemeenschap in Hoofddorp te ontmoeten, vooral na afloop in de parochiezaal waar een heel buffet was aangericht
De homilie heb ik in werkelijkheid deels in het Engels, deels in het Nederlands gehouden, omdat de jongere generatie al zeer aan onze landstaal is gewend.
Dear candidates, dear brothers and sisters,
Today we celebrate a beautiful feast
or maybe we should say: three beautiful feasts,
since we celebrate the confirmation of these young people,
the blessing for Marcel as an extraordinary minister of holy communion
and of course we celebrate today
the solemnity of Pentecost,
that the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles
and transformed them
from timid, fearful, doubting people
into real apostles, man of courage and faith,
steadfast and full of joy,
ready to set out and proclaim the gospel.
These three events we celebrate today
are closely linked to each other:
we pray for you, Marcel,
and we pray for you candidates,
who are about to receive holy confirmation
that the holy Spirit
may guide you and strengthen you
and help you to live a truly christian life.
Seventy years ago
when the allied troops landed at the coast of Normandy,
they found somewhere a church
that was greatly damaged, almost destroyed.
In the midst of the ruins there stood a cross,
damaged as well, with no arms and no legs.
There the Lord was: it was almost a sign
that He too was suffering, compassionate,
that He too had to lose His arms and legs.
And someone attached a note on this cross, saying:
“We are His arms and His legs...”.
And indeed, this is true!
If you receive holy communion,
you receive the body of Christ:
Jesus Christ is there under the species of Bread.
But you too, you are the body of Christ,
you are a baptized Christian, a catholic,
Christ is present in you,
when people see you, when they meet you
they might meet Jesus,
that is your call.
You are Christ’s hands and feet in this world!
And therefore we ask today the Holy Spirit
to come to you with his seven gifts:
wisdom, understanding, knowledge,
counsel, fortitude, piety
and fear of the Lord.
If you open your heart to these gifts,
If you keep these gifts in your heart
and do your best to live from them,
than people meet God, they meet Jesus
when they meet you,
they will get inspired to do good,
to be kind and strong and faithful,
full of love, hope and faith.
You will do His work,
Please, cherish the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
that are in your heart
and try to be strong.
Of course I know that you are
and we all are ordinary human beings,
I know that we make mistakes,
that we do stupid things sometimes,
that we are tempted to take a wrong step, but:
Do not get discouraged, never!
Realize yourself always that God is your heavenly Father,
that He loves you,
that He is always ready to forgive you,
to give you a new chance.
God is always ready to grant you forgiveness
and help you to make a new start.
What would you say if you had a friend
who betrayed you
and made you suffer tremendously?
What would you do?
Jesus had such a friend.
His name was Judas.
He betrayed His Lord Jesus
and having done so,
he could not believe
that Jesus would forgive him any more,
he went and committed suicide.
In fact that was Judas’ biggest mistake.
Yes, his biggest sin was that he believed
that there was no way out,
that there was no forgiveness,
no new beginning for him.
So you see: being sad and without hope,
with no belief that there is a way out possible,
a new start,
that would be your biggest mistake,
because God loves you!
Jesus had another friend, Peter.
He denied that he knew Jesus.
When Jesus was in trouble,
Peter said he didn’t even know him,
he went away.
But he came back,
he wept tears of sorrow
and the Lord Jesus forgave him
and even put him at the head of the Church.
So: never get discouraged,
have trust in the love and kindness of the Lord,
and make a new start!
Every day we all have to take a lot of decisions,
there are a lot of options.
If you sit at your computer
maybe playing a game,
you can choose to view pornography, violence, bad things
or read about Jesus, a saint, charitable works,
about the life of really poor people and pray for them
or many other very good things.
Of course you know already
that it is not good to do the bad things
and that it is good to do the right things,
but many times it is difficult to make the right choice.
There are many young people
who destroyed their lives more or less
with drugs, alcohol, pornography, stealing
and other things.
We need help to get strength, to be strong,
to make the right decisions.
That’s why we ask today for the holy Spirit,
that’s why I will anoint you with chrism,
to communicate to you the holy Spirit
so that He may help you and build you up,
that He may give you wisdom and strength,
love in your hearts and good intentions,
the power to persevere
and the power to make sometimes a new begin,
the power to be another Christ in this world...
Please do pray often this little prayer,
when you have to make a decision,
when you are tempted,
when you feel lonely,
when you don’t know what to do
and on many other occasions:
Come, Come holy Spirit!