February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, is the World Day for Consecrated Life, instituted 27 years ago by Pope John Paul II. This day is celebrated because Jesus is the Consecrated One of the Father par excellence, the one who came into the world to do his will.
The Cardinal João Braz de Aviz prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the secretary of that dicastery, Msgr. José Rodríguez Carballo, write us a letter on the occasion of this XXVII World Day for Consecrated Life in which we are invited to to gratefully remember the immense grace of our vocation to be “a living memory of Jesus’ way of being and acting” and, aware that his grace is sufficient for us, we ask him for it with humility and trust in order to live the gift of fidelity and the joy of perseverance.
This year, his message focuses on mission. Pope Francis said of it that “it is the oxygen of Christian life: it invigorates and purifies it”. The cardinal reminds us:
To live the mission in God’s way, as consecrated life, we need the breath of the Spirit to oxygenate our consecration, to widen our tent, to not allow the desire to go out and reach out to others to proclaim the Gospel, to rekindle the missionary fire in us. He is the true protagonist of the mission and, at the same time, the one who maintains the freshness of our faith so that it does not wither.
You can read HERE the whole letter and ask yourself before the Lord: Do I invoke the Spirit with strength and frequency and ask him to rekindle the missionary fire in my heart… Do I feel urged to speak about what I have seen and heard? Do I feel a longing for Christ… Am I willing to widen my tent, to walk with others? And, above all, is it the person of Jesus that impassions my heart?
In this key of allowing themselves to be touched by the Spirit in order to return to the mission, the four Daughters of Jesus of whom we were informed in Graciela’s circular letter No. 25, Lucia, Anna, Rosa and Esther, began their last probation. We accompany them especially today with our prayers. May it be for them a time of encounter with the Lord who continues to say to them: “You are precious in my eyes, I love you. Follow me.
We end with the same words with which the Cardinal concludes his letter João Braz de Aviz :
Wherever we are, however we are, we are mission if the love of God is in our hearts. Together, in communion and participation, we are God’s Mission. Mary accompanies us on our missionary journey.
Happy Feast of the Presentation and Happy World Day for Consecrated Life!