Being a living memory of Jesus’ way of existing and acting
Every February 2nd, the feast of Candlemas (more precisely, the liturgical feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple), the Church universally celebrates the “World Day of Consecrated Life”. This, in 2023, is the XXVII edition. Among the messages sent annually by Pope Francis, we recall in particular that of the homily of 2 February 2015, in which he defined the women and men who have consecrated their lives to God: “men and women who illuminate the future of humanity” in the following of Christ.
During the pontificate of Pope Francis, there has been no lack of moments in which Consecrated Life has been the subject of reflection and meditation. All with a single denominator, the word joy recurred several times during his messages to consecrated persons: “This is the beauty of consecration: it is joy, joy… In calling you God says to you: You are important to me, I love you, I count on you. Jesus, to each one of us, says this! From there comes joy! The joy of the moment when Jesus looked at me. Understanding and feeling this is the secret of our joy. To feel loved by God, to feel that for him we are not numbers, but persons; and to feel that it is he who calls us.”(Source: www.diocesidialbengaimperia.it ).
How attuned to the spiritual witness of our Foundress, at the dawn of her Calling when, as an adolescent, ‘Shattered by suffering, Rosa Virginia’s heart opened to receive an extraordinary intuition: “I, you, whoever you are, whatever you do, you are LOVED”.
The theme of 2023 puts mission at the centre and invites us to “widen the tent […] at this time when a synodal spirit is being breathed into the Church […]. Mission leads us to the fullness of our Christian vocation, it gives us the opportunity to return to God’s style which is compassion, closeness and tenderness expressed in words, in presence, in bonds of friendship. We cannot separate ourselves from life, we need someone to take care of the fragility and poverty of our time, healing the wounds and healing the afflicted hearts with the balm of God’.
[…] Wherever we are, however we are, we are mission if the Love of God is in our heart. Mission enlarges the space of our tent and teaches us to grow in sincere harmony, strengthening ties, walking together, with Mary’s concern, with her profound joy-“ (Source: Message from the Dicastery for Consecrated Life)