El Shaddai, catholic charismatic community, celebrates jubilee
25 years Amsterdam chapter
On saturday the 21th of November El Shaddai chapter Amsterdam celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was announced last year as a beautiful, big and festive celebration, with guests from different countries. Brother Mike Velarde, founder and servant-leader of El Shaddai world wide was supposed to come from the Philippines for the celebration in Amsterdam. But unfortunately, like so many other occasions, Covid-19 changed everything...
At the bottom you can admire the face shield Fr. Ruben Torres gave me before Mass.
The Solemn Mass was celebrated now in the presence of around thirty people, but live-streamed so that many could participate and be united in prayer. It was a beautiful Mass with excellent singers, almost as beautiful as a big choir would have been. After the Mass I was invited to taste the beautiful jubilee-cakes at the same time prepared for my birthday, but of course only a conversation with just a few people was possible.
But notwithstanding the restrictions, we are grateful for alle the graces that the Lord has poured out in these 25 years and we hope and pray that there are many more beautiful and spiritually fruitful years to come!
Gospelreading: Matthew 25, 31-46
Homily - Solemnity of Christ, King of the Universe A
They did not recognize their Lord
First of all
I would like to congratulate you
with this beautiful occasion
of the silver jubilee
of the Amsterdam El Shaddai community.
Source and summit
It is really a pity
that we have to celebrate this feast
without being able to invite everyone
to be present here
and to join us in the Eucharistic celebration,
which is source and summit
of our Christian, catholic life.
The holy Eucharist is the source
from which we live,
because it is the Paschal Mystery
Jesus’ cross and resurrection,
and we receive Him
whom we want to be
the inner soul of our words and actions.
Therefore, I am glad
that at least many are connected with us
and spiritually united with us
with this Eucharistic sacrifice
and with us all here
in this church.
We celebrate today
the solemnity of Christ the King;
this feast directs our thoughts
towards the end of times,
the end of the age
and the final judgment.
Sheep and goats
Maybe this frightens you a little,
especially since today’s Gospel
tells us that the Lord will separate us,
like a shepherd separates
the sheep and the goats,
and these goats will go off to eternal punishment
but the righteous to eternal life.
Will we receive a punishment
or will we receive a heavenly reward.
O when the saint go marching in,
I want to be in that number!
Of course, we all
our many sins and shortcomings;
we are not perfect Christians,
we do not - I don’t and most of us do not -
belong to the greatest saints
of Church history,
but we try to do our best.
We all are conscious, I think,
that we fully depend
on God’s grace and His mercy.
This may help us to forgive
this consciousness of our shortcomings
should not make us sad and depressed,
since all we will receive
is God’s free gift
and it may help us
to forgive what others did wrong to us;
for we remember often more
what other people did wrong to us,
than that we remember
our own wrongdoings.
Sometimes people find it a lot easier
to confess the sins of others
than confessing their own sins.
In fact we all know
- at least I do -
that we are not so perfect,
such a model-Christians,
as we would have liked to be.
But there is one really great consolation.
In today’s Gospel the heavenly King says
to those on his right and to those on his left
that they did or did not welcome Him
in the stranger, the needy, the poor, the sick and the prisoner
and both groups,
those on the right and those on the left,
respond to the words of the King in the same way:
“When did we see you
a stranger, poor, in prison, ill?”
So, sheep or goats,
they did not recognize their Lord,
but those on the right
followed their good heart,
those on the left did not.
Doing the right thing
So, it might not be
that we always recognize Jesus Christ
in the needy, the poor, in the sick,
but still it makes a difference
whether we reached out to them or not;
Above all we have to follow
the call of charity
that we feel in our hearts.
Maybe we had little faith,
maybe we did not see the Lord
present in what happened to us
- though He was there! -
But if we have followed
the inner voice of loving mercy,
kindness and charity
which is the Lord’s Spirit
inspiring us in our hearts,
than we have done the right thing,
which merits these words of the Lord:
“Whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine,
you did for me”.
This makes us clear
how important it is
to follow our conscience,
which is a sanctuary within us
where we are alone with God,
where we hear His voice,
telling us to love
and to do what is good
and to avoid what is evil.
This voice tells us:
“Do this, keep away from that”(Cf. GS 16)
and we will be judged according
to our obedience to this inner voice.
And if we listen to this voice within us,
if we try to do what we feel is right and good,
we come closer and closer to Jesus,
whose footsteps we are called to follow,
and to the blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
who is our model of Christian life.
“You did it for me”
Yes, today’s Gospel is an invitation
to be open to the good inspirations
that Our Lord through His Spirit
puts in our hearts
and to put it in practice,
to be faithful to our conscience.
If we try to do so
we are listening in fact
to the voice of the Good Shepherd, our King,
who tells us:
“You did it for me”.