"Usually in religious life, we begin counting our ‘milestones’, so to speak, when we reach 25 years. However, as the years go on, we realise that life is precious and fragile and commitment to religious life, priesthood and marriage is to be celebrated as we support each other in our various vocations. This 10th anniversary is very meaningful for me as I remember also my Profession companion Sr.Gabriela from Poland, who would have been celebrating her 10th this week but the Lord had other plans and called her home to Himself in heaven last March at the young age of 33. As St. Theophane once said: "We are all flowers planted on this earth, which God plucks in his own good time, some a little sooner, some a little later."
|With some of my Dominicans friends,|
thanks to Br. David for the photo.
Just a few days ago, we had the Feastday of the Archangels, among them St. Gabriel. St. Gabriel announced the most wonderful and life-changing event ever to occur in the universe, the Incarnation of Jesus in the womb of Mary. How many times have I meditated upon the mystery of the Annunciation, of God’s annunciation to me! Mary’s fiat has become the model of ‘fiat’ for disciples throughout the centuries and I am no different. I continue to say: “let it be done according to your will”. This is the ‘fiat’ in the messiness of life. I can still feel the joy and the apprehension in saying ‘here I am, Lord’ and hear the gentle whisper of the Lord who says ‘do not be afraid, I am with you’.
Pope Francis in the Joy of the Gospel calls us to pause before the joy of the moment when "Jesus looked at me" and to recall the important and demanding, underlying meaning of our vocation: “It is a response to a call, a call of love”. To stay with Christ requires us to share our lives, our choices, the obedience of faith, the happiness of poverty, the radicality of love. It is about being reborn through vocation. Since we are witnesses of a communion beyond our vision and our limits, we are called to wear God’s smile and live joyfully.
|With Sr. Mary (aka Maggiorina) and Sr. Brid|
at the end of the evening.
Happy smiles all round!
To finish, I’d like to leave each one of us with a challenge, again issued by Pope Francis:
"Look into the depths of your heart, look into your own inner depths and ask yourself: do you have a heart that desires something great, or a heart that has been lulled to sleep by things? Has your heart preserved the restlessness of seeking or have you let it be suffocated by things that end by hardening it? God awaits you, he seeks you; how do you respond to him? "
Thank you for your presence with me here this evening. I am grateful to God for each one of you and your prayerful support with me over the years and I continue to count on it in the future. Rest assured of my humble prayers for you, your families and your communities. AMEN.