23 March 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 02/02/2016, 19.42


    Pope calls on consecrated persons to be a sign of God’s closeness and sharing of humanity’s wounds today

    In the Mass ending the Jubilee of Consecrated life, Francis said, “woe betide routine in spiritual life; woe betide the crystallization of our charisms in abstract doctrine”. In fact, “Our founders were moved by the Spirit and they were not afraid to get their hands dirty with everyday life, with people’s problems, they were not afraid to courageously walk the geographic and existential peripheries.”

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis on Tuesday addressed consecrated men and women during Mass in St Peter's Basilica marking the end of the Year of Consecrated Life. In his homily, he said that “Consecrated persons are called to be a concrete and prophetic sign of God’s closeness, of this sharing in a condition of fragility, of sin and of the wounds of man in our time,” noting also that they are “in a permanent state of mission”.

    Today’s celebration marks the end of the Year of Consecrated Life. The Year, which began on the First Sunday of Advent in November 2014, came to a close today, 2 February 2016, World Day of Consecrated Life. 

    In a St Peter’s Basilica bathing in the light of thousands of candles for the feast day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which is also known as Candlemas, the pontiff concelebrated the liturgy with priests from many orders, congregations and religious institutions.

    Commenting on today’s Gospel reading, Francis said, “Today, before our eyes is a simple, humble and great fact: Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem. He is a child like many others, just like the others, but He is unique: He is the Lord’s only son who has come for all mankind. This Child has brought the mercy and the tenderness of God: Jesus is the face of the Father’s Mercy. This is the icon the Gospel offers us at the conclusion of the Year of Consecrated Life, a year which has been lived with much enthusiasm. Like a river, it now flows into the sea of mercy, into the immense mystery of love that we are experiencing through the Extraordinary Jubilee.

    “Today's feast, especially in the East, is called the Feast of the Encounter. As a matter of fact, in the Gospel we can read of several encounters (cf. Lk 2,22-40). In the temple, Jesus comes towards us and we go to meet him. We contemplate the encounter with the aged Simeon who represents Israel that trustingly awaits the coming of the Lord and the exultation of the heart for the fulfilment of the promise. We can also admire the encounter with the prophetess, Anna, who upon seeing the Child exults with joy and praises God. Simeon and Anna are the awaiting and the prophecy, Jesus is the good news and the fulfilment: He presents himself to us as God’s perpetual surprise; in this Child who was born for all, the past, made of memory and promise, and the future, which is full of hope, meet.

    “In this we can see the beginning of consecrated life. Consecrated men and women are called first and foremost to be men and women of encounter. Vocation, in fact, is not motivated by a project that has been planned “at the drawing table”, but by the grace of the Lord who comes to us through a life-changing encounter. Those who really meet Jesus cannot stay the same as before. He is the novelty that makes all things new. He who lives this meeting becomes a witness and makes the meeting possible for others; he also becomes a promoter of the culture of encounter, avoiding a self-referential attitude that causes one to remain closed within oneself.

    “The passage from the Letter to the Hebrews that we just heard, reminds us that Jesus himself, in his meeting with us, did not hesitate to share our human condition: " Since the children have flesh and blood, Christ too shared in their humanity" (v. 14). Jesus did not save us "from the outside", He did not stay out of our drama, he wanted to participate in our life. Consecrated persons are called to be a concrete and prophetic sign of God’s closeness, of this sharing in a condition of fragility, of sin and of the wounds of man in our time. All forms of consecrated life, each according to its characteristics, are called to be in a permanent state of mission, sharing “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted” (Gaudium et Spes, 1).

    “The Gospel also tells us that ‘Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about Him’ (v. 33). Joseph and Mary safeguard the wonder for this encounter which is full of light and hope for all people. And we too, as Christians and as consecrated persons, we are custodians of wonder. A wonder that asks to be constantly renewed; woe betide routine in spiritual life; woe betide the crystallization of our charisms in abstract doctrine: the charisms of the founders - as I have said before - are not to be sealed in a bottle, they are not museum pieces. Our founders were moved by the Spirit and they were not afraid to get their hands dirty with everyday life, with people’s problems, they were not afraid to courageously walk the geographic and existential peripheries. They did not stop before the obstacles and misunderstandings of others, because they kept the wonder of their encounter with Christ in their hearts. They did not tame the grace of the Gospel; they had a healthy yearning for the Lord in their hearts, the yearning to bring Him to others, just as Mary and Joseph did in the temple. We too, are called today, to make prophetic and courageous choices.

    “Finally, we learn from today's feast to live the gratitude for the encounter with Jesus and for the gift of a vocation to consecrated life. To thank, to give thanks for the grace: the Eucharist. How beautiful it is when we meet the happy face of consecrated persons, who are perhaps already advanced in years, like Simeon and Anna, happy and full of gratitude for their vocation. This is a word that can sum up everything we have lived in this Year of the Consecrated Life: gratitude for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which always inspires the Church through its various charisms.

    “The Gospel ends with this expression: "The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him" (v. 40). May the Lord Jesus, through the maternal intercession of Mary, grow within us, and each increase in each of us the desire of encounter, the custody of wonder and the joy of gratitude. Then others will be attracted by His light, and will be able to meet the Father's mercy.”

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    17/09/2015 VATICAN
    Pope: consecrated life is being close to people, prophecy, joy of evangelizing
    Meeting five thousand consecrated young people, Francis indicates the salient features of religious life. The example of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus: "prophecy, the ability to dream is the opposite of rigidity." "To evangelize does not only mean to convince, no it means to witness to that Jesus Christ is alive." Narcissism, "one of the worst attitudes of a religious". A thought for the martyrs of Iraq and Syria.

    13/10/2013 VATICAN
    Pope renews act consecration to Our Lady of Fatima
    The three "realities" seen "by looking to Mary ." "God surprises us, God asks us to be faithful, God is our strength." "Do I really let God into my life ? How do I respond to him ?" , “Am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time," in front of a "culture of provisional, of the relative" and, finally , do I know how to give " thanks , praise for what the Lord does" because" everything is His gift , He is our strength . "

    10/09/2017 14:06:00 VATICAN – COLOMBIA
    Pope: the vocations of the consecrated are a promise “of a new beginning for Colombia”

    Pope Francis met thousands of priests, men and women religious, seminarians, and their families at Medellín’s La Macarena event centre. Many young people discovered their vocation in a context of violence. A priest, a Carmelite nun, of a seminarian's mother bore witness to their experience. The pontiff is optimistic about young people and stressed the importance of having "communities with a contagious apostolic zeal, which inspire and attract others.” He called to dwell in Christ by standing by the people in prayer, study and joy.

    05/06/2011 VATICAN-CROATIA
    Church calls on families to be missionaries in secularised society, says Pope
    " Dear families, be courageous! Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person!! Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood! Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future, just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them!. "

    02/02/2018 20:11:00 VATICAN
    The youthfulness of an institute of consecrated life lies in its roots, in listening to its elders, pope says

    On World Day of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis tells consecrated men and women that “we can never leave others behind, never pass over generations, but must accompany one another daily, keeping the Lord always at the center.”

    Editor's choices

    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®