“It is your life that must speak,a life which radiates the joy and beauty
of living the Gospel and of following Christ”
(Pope Francis, Letter to Religious)
Happy and Holy Easter to you all!
May the light of the Resurrection illumine the mind, the heart and the choices of each of you in this year dedicated to the Consecrated Life.
If Lent, which has just concluded, has spurred us to look within ourselves to discover the deep and lasting reasons for our human and religious stories, Easter places within us the certainty that God never comes short of his promises that a new life is still possible and “that God always continues to offer himself as guide for our journey.”
The Year of Consecrated Life which we are observing invites us to thank and praise the Lord for the gift of religious life and to make it a “memory of faith.” This gives us roots of continuity and perseverance: this is a powerful identity allowing us to see ourselves as part of a tale, a history. Letting faith reinterpret in the journey that has been made is not limited to the big events, but also helps us reinterpret our personal history, helpfully dividing it into episodes” and helping us to discover along the journey of our life, the footsteps of God mixed in with our own. (cf. Keep Watch!, 5, CICLSAL) .
Let us continue to allow ourselves to be formed by the Word of God and the urgency and necessity of always putting the Person of Christ at the center of our life. These two elements can truly “be a guarantee of authenticity and quality for the future of our lives as consecrated men and women” (cf. Keep Watch!, 7, CICLSAL).
Easter calls us to become joyful witnesses of the person of Christ and of his Resurrection, and to be courageous proclaimers of his Word. All this is part of the DNA of our La Salette spirituality which we normally sum up in one word: reconciliaton.
“A witness of the Gospel – Pope Francis reminds us – is one who has met Jesus Christ, who has known him, or even better, who is known by Him - recognized, respected, loved, forgiven - and this encounter has touched him deeply, has filled him with a new joy, a new meaning for his life. And this radiates, communicates, transmits itself to others” (cf. Keep Watch!, 9, CICLSAL; original citation, Pope Francis, Discourse to the Apostolic Movement for the Blind [MAC] and the Little Mission for Deaf-mutes, Rome, March 29, 2014).
Has the encounter with Christ truly changed - or is it now changing - my life and yours? Can we too really say that we have risen with Christ?
Let us live intensely the joy of Easter and let us not be robbed of it by anyone.
This coming December 8, with the opening of the Holy Doors of the Basilica of Saint Peter, will mark the beginning of an extraordinary jubilee year dedicated to mercy on the 50th anniversary of the closing of Vatican II. On March 13, Pope Francis accompanied the announcement of this event with these words: “thus the whole Church in this Jubilee Year can find the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God with which we have been called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.”
We La Salette Missionaries must surely rejoice with the Pope who reminds us that mercy is the essence and the heart of the Gospel. To wed reconciliation and mercy, then, in our everyday ministry will be the mission of each of us and of our Congregation, something we will try hard to realize during this coming Holy Year.
May the Virgin of La Salette, Mother of reconciliation, accompany us in this year of Consecrated Life to rediscover the important reasons for being religious in the midst of the people of God and for belonging to this Congregation. At the same time may she help us prepare our hearts and minds to welcome as a special gift the Holy Year of Mercy and to live it in our communities and parishes in the light of the message left to us at La Salette..
p. Silvano Marisa MS