In the world there is often a lack of joy. We are not called to accomplish epic feats or to proclaim high-sounding words, but to give witness to the joy that arises from the certainty of knowing we are loved, from the confidence that we are saved.
“In calling you God says to you: ‘You are important to me, I love you, I am counting on you’. Jesus says this to each one of us! Joy is born of that! The joy of the moment in which Jesus looked at me. Understanding and hearing this is the secret of our joy. Feeling loved by God, feeling that for him we are not numbers but people; and we know that it is he who is calling us.
The Pope invites us on a pilgrimage in reverse … he invites us to contemplate the beginnings of a journey or rather, of an event initiated by Christ, when the nets were left on the lake shore, the tax-collector’s desk by the side of the road… He invites us to remain a long time on an interior pilgrimage, tasting how good it is to follow this Master who alone has the words of eternal life (Jn 6: 68). The Pope invites us to make our whole life a pilgrimage of loving transformation”.
CONSECRATED LIFE :
- It is a call to incarnate the Good news, to follow Christ, the crucified and risen one, to take on “Jesus’s way of living and acting as the Incarnate Word in relation to the Father and in relation to the brothers and sisters”
- It is a continuous call to follow Christ, and to be made like him: “Jesus’s whole life, his way of dealing with the poor, his actions, his integrity, his simple daily generosity, and finally his complete self-giving, all this is precious and related to our personal lives”.
Christ is the seal:
– on our foreheads, because we always profess him;
– on our hearts, because we always love him;
– on our arms, because we are always working for him
JOY – FRUIT OF RELIGIOUS CONSECRATION
- We find joy when we seek the Lord, spend time near Him, when we carry out His will.
- Jesus finds joy in seeing us near his tabernacle and we find joy to be near Him.
- The roots of joy:
- the persevering listening with faith to the Word of God
- fidelity to our consecration
- Joy comes from trust and therefore can exists with suffering:
- Joy experienced when we sacrifice ourselves for others – in self forgetfulness
- It is experienced when we share, spontaneously giving away what is very dear to us
- Joy that wells from within, that does not count the cost of giving
- Joy in poverty (Cf. the first Roman Community; “Perfect joy” of St. Francis)
- Through joy we give witness that :
- We are saved
- We know ourselves to be loved
- We believe in the great mercy of God; that God’s nature is “misericordia” – “mercy”
- The great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
- We have a thousand reasons for remaining in joy
- Every Christian, but especially religious, are called to be bearers of the message of hope giving serenity and joy, God’s consolation and tenderness towards all.