THEME: CELEBRATING THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD
Re-awakening the Spirit of Mission, Communion and Participation in the Church
Celebrating 80 solid years of the foundation of our Institute can only be God’s faithfulness and love for us, as it is clearly expressed in 1 Corinthians 1:9, “The faithful God will not fail you after calling you to this fellowship with his Son, Christ Jesus, Our Lord. We therefore acknowledge the faithfulness of God in the life of our Institute, and the members, and we express our gratitude to Him with more determination and discipline.
Celebrating 4 scores of our existences is an opportunity for us to tell our story of how the Journey began, the challenges encountered, the daunting and resilience spirit of the foundation members. Our steady growth and progress in all ramifications are a gigantic sign of God’s faithfulness and love for our Institute. It is an opportunity to take a look at what solid road map of development do we have for the future of our Institute. A robust future we must all work together to achieve, so that we can bequeath a formidable religious family to the future generation.
The key words to ponder in this theme are: The faithfulness of God, Reawakening our Spirit of Mission, Communion and Participation in the Church. These words are logically connected.
Acknowledging the faithfulness of God in our individual lives, in the life of our Institute will lead to the consciousness of reawakening in our hearts to the Mission of the Church.
This Theme is also apt for us as an Institute, considering the fact that, we are celebrating the 80 years of our existence in the same year the universal Church will be celebrating a Synod with the theme. “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”. Pope Francis has opened a synod on journeying together as a Church and has asked for our participation, and to invoke the Holy Spirit to guide the Church into deeper communion, deeper participation in the life in Christ, and a deeper commitment to the Church’s evangelizing mission.
Understanding the Synod’s three key words – communion, participation, and mission will amplify what the Theme of our 80th foundation anniversary set to communicate to us. The following explanation on the three key words are offered in the preparatory document for the Synodal Church.
Communion: By His gracious will, God gathers us together as diverse peoples of one faith, through the covenant that He offers to his people. The communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity. Together, we are inspired by listening to the Word of God, through the living Tradition of the Church and (Universal appreciation of the obe faith that we share.
Participation: A call for the involvement of all who belong to the People of God – laity, consecrated and ordained – to engage in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. This listening creates space for us to hear the Holy Spirit together, and follow the promptings of that Spirit. Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and are called to serve one another through the gifts they have each received from the Holy Spirit. In the Church the whole community is called together to pray, listen, analyse, dialogue, discern in matters of faith and responsibility.
Mission: The Church exists to evangelize. Our mission is to witness the love of God in the midst of the whole human family.
Encounter: We are invited to re- encounter Jesus in the communion of faith we share in the living our prayer life and religious commitment as Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus brought together from different background. We are called to be expert in being present to one another, being sensitive to the needs of one another. Every encounter – as we know – calls for openness, courage and a willingness to let ourselves be challenged by the presence and the stories of others, so that we can impact positively in their lives.
Listening: Are we good at listening? How good is the “hearing” of our heart? Do we allow people to express themselves, to walk in faith even though they have had difficulties in life, and to be part of the life of the community without being hindered, rejected or judged? Participating means placing ourselves on the same path as the Word made flesh. It means following in his footsteps, listening to his word along with the words of others. That is, listening with the heart of Jesus, and looking for opportunities to be positively involve in the lives of others, especially those at the peripheries.
Discerning: From listening, we encounter. Listening and encountering are not ends in themselves. whenever we enter into dialogue, we allow ourselves to be challenged, to advance on a journey. And in the end, we are no longer the same; we are changed and enter in to the mission for which we are all called with a renew mind. And our only song will be, “Not my will, but yours be done” Luke 22:42. And this mission for us is, doing the will of God, even when it is not convenient.
In conclusion: We must have a renewed spirit of a people journeying together in faith, deeper love for our Lord and one another, as we encounter him in our daily adoration and Eucharistic Sacrifice. Listening to one another in love and sharing in one another’s burden. Discerning the will of God in our missionary endeavours and making ourselves available for service. And in all of these, celebrating the faithfulness of God, who inspired our Founder to establish our religious Institute, and has sustained it for these past 80 solid years, in spite of the challenges and the vicissitudes of life. We must look to the future with a renew hope for a more glorious and enduring religious Institute.
Beloved sisters, may we have a good journey together! May we be pilgrims in love with the Gospel and open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. May we not miss out on the grace-filled opportunities born of encounter, listening and discernment. In the joyful conviction that, even as we seek the Lord, he always comes with his love to meet us first, and in turn embrace each other in love and forgiveness. – Amen.
Happy 80th Anniversary of the Foundation of our Noble Institute.