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27.08.2020 00:17:07 91x read.
Homily on August 15, 2020 in the Beyart (By: Bros. Wim Luiten and Wim Swuste)

Homily on August 15, 2020 in the Beyart

We've all probably heard Victor Hugo's story about 'Les Miserables' or seen it as a contemporary musical. I'll tell you one episode from it.

After a prison sentence of 19 years, the crook Jean Valjean is released.

A priest gives him temporary shelter.

Valjean has not forgotten his profession as a thief and steals a silver vase from the priest.

He is stopped by the police on the street.

In a bag they find the vase and bring Valjean back to the priest.

"Look, Father, here's the crook who stole your silver vase!"

The priest looks astonished and says:

"Stolen?! He got it from me.

So, Jean, why didn't you take my silver candlestick too,

I had given it to you too as well, right? "

The police is leaving disappointedly.

Valjean looks at the priest in amazement.

“Grace, you are full of grace to me. Thank you !"



On this day, so memorable to us, we celebrate the jubilee of eight fellow brothers.

You commemorate the fact of your profession, 75, 70, 65, 60 and 25 years ago.

Over those long years, you have had the support and assistance of our patron Saint Mary, of whom we celebrate her ascension to heaven today.

Mary, our patroness, our mother, our support to whom we say (usually without even thinking about it): “Hail Mary. Full of grace…. ”

Full of grace!

Grace is something you do get, but you don't really deserve.

You get it 'free'.

Just thrown into the lap, in darkness and turmoil; in good and bad times.

When you look back on your own life

you will be able to identify many 'gracious' moments.


Without your right to it, you got a good home, did you always have food and drink,

did you usually have a warm place in your community,

could you lean on your fellow brothers, or valuable people crossed your path in life and gave you direction and good cheer again.


Full of grace!

Those were you, jubilarians, also for the people whom you served in the Netherlands, Chile, Malawi -Zambia and Ghana.

By encouraging the afflicted, nursing and encouraging the sick,

by showing young people the right way - teaching them a trade,

by being good and by doing good, you were full of grace to your fellow man.


Grace has a lot in it: liberation, nearness, forgiveness, mercy ...

This is the precious trail you are leaving behind: without much fanfare or boasting.

To be there, simply for people on their way in life.


Mother Mary, full of grace, also stayed in her life a simple and loving woman.

She only receives little attention in scriptures, now and then in writings left behind:

When she wants to help, when she wants to comfort, when she's completely exhausted from grief and pain,

when she is quietly present with the apostles and women in the fearful days after the death of Jesus.


As brothers celebrating your jubilee you can lay the path of life you have taken almost exactly on that of Mother Mary's.

Happy with many good things and much appreciation.

But also at times helpless when you doubted the path you chose.

Very happy if you could send a group of students or pupils with a certificate into the world.

But also completely confused when you were transferred and had to leave your good friends behind.

Very satisfied when you could see that new growth for your precious FIC was going well. But also doubting and uncertain when you look to the future….


In our Constitutions we are often reminded that we must live and work in the footsteps of Mother Mary.

“The Congregation can call on us to work for others outside our own country, far away from our loved ones.

Then we have to show our willingness, to subordinate our own desires and preferences, to the interests of the community.

To lead and to take on great responsibility. ”


Our two Ghanaian jubilarians today

fulfill this mission in great simplicity, cordiality and service.

We are very grateful to you for that.


In a conversation I recently had with an elderly fellow brother, he said:

“In the course of my life I gradually discovered  that my life is not determined by myself,

but that something happens to me about goodness, deepening and tranquillity,

which is all just thrown into my lap ”.


I think he touched the essence of our graceful life with that.

Let it happen to you in peace and peace of mind

what comes across as 'silent force'.

To experience that you never have to travel alone.

The grateful feeling that you are allowed to be there: for and with people.


That you, jubilarians, may experience deep in your heart, that you are gracious people, that are precious in our eyes and in the eyes of the Lord.


That our Mother Mary, full of grace, looks at yoú with Him.


Bro. Wim Luiten & Bro. Wim Swuste.

Religious House The Netherlands

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