The celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception yesterday (December 8) at Manresa Retreat House (Quezon City) was extra special. Almost all the sisters of Metro Manila came together for the feast and to usher in the 145th year of the Foundation of our Religious Family. God’s fidelity to us came with an extra touch yesterday – as the five Golden Girls – Srs.Florencia Lapitan, Lina Cornelio, Lourdes Marzoña, Teodora Antonio y Victoria Ruycelebrated their 50 years as Hijas de Jesus.
They had agreed to celebrate together, and had come to the retreat house days before to have three days of prayer and sharing. And during the Mass, Fr. Ramon Bautista, SJ reminded all we can give our “fiat” to God everyday, by giving ourselves, by not holding back, by being, like Mary, totally for God. As the five sisters made the devotional renewal of their vows, as the host was raised and as they received communion, the lyrics of the song “We Give You Thanks” which was sung seemed to narrate in music their journey, their thanksgiving, their appreciation for the sisters, family and friends.
While they knew who were coming from among their friends and family, still they got “wonderful surprises” of friends they did not really expect would come. The occasion was made all the more joyous because the friends brought food to share – and so after the mass, the festivity was felt practically everywhere!
As they, and we, begin the next chapter of our lives, as we wait in fervent hope for Christ’s coming this advent, we hope that we will have room for newness to be born in our lives. May we be ready to encounter Jesus, and know him in whatever circumstance He chooses to show himself, that we may be able to more and more give ourselves totally to Him.