Archbishop Thomas Wenski - The Archdiocese of Miami
15 de agosto, 2010
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In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “Today, as in all ages, there is no lack of generous souls ready to give up everyone and everything to embrace Christ and His Gospel, consecrating their existence to His service with communities characterized by enthusiasm, generosity and joy.” This Mass today recognizes one of those generous souls, Mother Adela. Today, as she celebrates 25 years of love and fidelity, we join with her sisters, the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and their many collaborators in thanking God for the gift of her vocation.

It is no secret that recent years have been challenging times for religious communities. And so, the initiative to bring to birth a new religious institute was certainly a “putting out into the deep”. But, like Peter on the Sea of Galilee, Mother Adela trusted in the word of the Lord; and like Peter, she was not disappointed.

The Responsorial Psalm from today’s liturgy is a particularly apt meditation for us as we celebrate today. “To you, Lord, I lift up my eyes.” Consecrated life is a witness of the search for God. Through your living out of the evangelical counsels you make the “characteristic traits of the virginal, poor and obedient Jesus visible.” (cf. Instruction: The Service of Authority and Obedience)

“To you, Lord, I lift up my eyes.” Religious life is not about the seeking of self but rather the seeking of God. The only reason for this choice in life is to seek to know his will, to build a community of brothers and sisters in which God is sought after and loved before all else.

El Salmo Responsorial de la liturgia de hoy es una meditación particularmente adecuada a lo que celebramos hoy. “A ti, Señor, levanto mis ojos”. La Vida Consagrada es un testimonio a la búsqueda de Dios. Por medio de vivir los consejos evangélicos, ustedes hacen “que las características de Jesús – virgen, pobre y obediente - sean visible.” (cf. Instrucción: El Servicio de Autoridad y Obediencia).

La vida religiosa no es sobre buscarse a si mismo sino sobre la búsqueda de Dios. El único motivo para elegir este estilo de vida es buscar y conocer su voluntad, construir una comunidad de hermanos y hermanas en la cual ante todo se busca a Dios y éste es amado sobre todo.

Cristo les ha llamado “del mundo” – esto es cierto tanto en las comunidades activas y contemplativas, y este llamado del “mundo” tanto para las activas como las contemplativas es un llamado para el mundo.

Mother Adela, Christ has called you and your sisters from the “world” – this is true of both active and contemplative communities of religious life. And equally true of both active and contemplative communities, this call out from the “world” is a call for the world.

In the world, we see people who are concerned with their own autonomy, people jealous of their freedom, people fearful of losing their independence. In such a world, as consecrated members of Christ’s faithful, vowed to poverty, chastity, and obedience, your lives are signs of contradiction. And, as such, your lives encourage others; your lives challenge others, to take a position regarding Jesus.

This Jesus is not a remote figure remembered from a long past history. Rather, for you, he is a living person, a person with whom one can have an intimate friendship, a friendship which has inspired you to follow him without compromise. In your journey – and today we recognize a significant milestone along your way – you have contemplated the face of Christ both hidden under the veil of Word and Sacrament but also in the many disguises – some of them sometimes disagreeable, as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta often said – of the poor, the marginalized, the abandoned, the frightened. You have done this at a time of great cultural and social change – and therefore have always had to be ready to “start afresh from Christ” in order to bear credible witness to his love.

Your life’s journey as a vowed religious has been like that of the Virgin Mary’s own journey: a pilgrimage of faith and consecration. A pilgrim cannot be weighed down by extra baggage. And for this reason the evangelical counsels help you mirror in your own life Mary’s free response to the Lord’s invitation.

Poverty, chastity and obedience lived according to the spirit of your Institute’s rule of life have freed you for the journey. May her prayers – and her example – continue to encourage you on your journey. May you always echo her words in your lives: before God, may you say with her – “Be it done unto me according to your word”; before men, make you instruct them as she instructed the servants at Cana: - “Do whatever he tells you”.

Your existence – in the world but not of the world – points to the possibility of a different way of fulfillment of one’s life, “a way where God is the goal, his Word the light, and his will the guide, where consecrated persons move along peacefully in the certainty of being sustained by the hands of a Father who welcomes and provides, where they are accompanied by brothers and sisters, moved by the same Spirit who wants to and knows how to satisfy the desires and longings sown by the Father in the heart of each one.

The consecrated life calls you to humble service within an exalted vocation: by belonging entirely to God, you belong entirely to your brothers and sisters. And, in the name of these brothers and sisters whom you have served so well and so faithfully over these past 25 years, and for the service that you have given this local Church, I, as the Archbishop of Miami, thank you.

Again, Sisters I thank you all: for your enthusiasm, for generosity, and for your joy. We bring all of this to the Lord – and to his table of sacrifice. May the Eucharist – during which we are privileged to gaze upon the face of the Lord – affirm you and strengthen you in your resolve to give up everybody and everything to embrace Christ and His Gospel.

De nuevo, muchas gracias a todas las hermanas, y muy en especial a nuestra festejada – por su entusiasmo, generosidad y por su gozo. Que la Eucaristía, durante la cual tenemos el privilegio de contemplar el rostro del Señor, les afirme y les fortalezca.

We all thank you for your humble service – and for your exalted vocation. Ad multos annos, Mother!



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