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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Consecrated
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

February 2, 2018 (Feast of the Presentation of the Lord)

 

Consecrated for Christ

Dear friends in Christ, today we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. We mark the feast yearly with the celebration of Consecrated Life. The day is used to highlight the work of the Religious in the Church and the world at large, and to celebrate the courage and sacrifices of the men and women who have consecrated themselves to the mission of the Church, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Many have travelled far from home, leaving the comfort of their homelands, to bring the gospel message, education, healthcare and peace. 

According to Pope Francis,

"One day Jesus, in His infinite mercy, addressed each one of us and told us personally, 'Come'. If we are here it is because we answered 'yes', at times with an adhesion full of enthusiasm and joy, at other times more difficult, perhaps uncertain", but always "with generosity, letting ourselves be guided along paths that we would not even have imagined", learning from Christ "the relationship with the Father, receiving His Spirit, learning to love the poor and sinners. We have followed Him together, learning service, acceptance, forgiveness and fraternal charity from Him. Our consecrated life has meaning because staying with Him and taking Him with us along the streets of the world, conforms us to Him, makes us Church, a gift for humanity.”(VIS news Feb.1, 2016)

 

Today’s Gospel (Luke 2:22-40) is on the presentation of Jesus in the Temple—A fulfilment of both the Law and the prophets. This ceremony symbolised, the dedication of Jesus, to the plan of God for the salvation of his people. The first reading (Malachy 3:1-4) had prophesied, how this event will happen in a sudden and unexpected manner. Those who were there that day, were not expecting what they saw, it was by grace. Those who live consecrated Life in our midst, are the visible signs of the contradiction described in that gospel passage. In the midst of the joy that the birth and presentation of Jesus brings, the mother is told to expect the sword that will pierce her own heart. The child is set, for the fall and rising of many in Israel. 

 

The dedication of both Simeon and Hannah is remarkable. God favoured them by grace, to witness the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The Consecrated men and women in our Church today, are seeking perfection, though they are not perfect yet—they also live in the limitations of the flesh. For that reason, we all need to bear also, with their failings. Often the priest or religious does not make headline news, until there is something negative to say about him/her. We must remember to salute the courage of these silent and unsung heroes who for the love of God, have dedicated themselves to the good and salvation of all. Let us begin by praying for them, that they may be faithful to their calling.

 

Let us pray: God our Father, we thank you for the gift of Consecrated life, and for the men and women who have consecrated themselves to your service. Give them the grace to truly live out their commitments and vows. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

 
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