On this July day the Lord calls us together to celebrate Jubilee, the joyful recognition of God’s love and fidelity to our sisters in the course of 25, 60, 75 years! It is a festive day as each remembers the unconditional love of the One who calls, the very personal and individual way He walks and converses with each one, the deep relationship and bond with Him and with the sisters of community. The pervading feeling is one of gratitude.
In the first reading, the author of Isaiah, speaking in the name of God, reminds us, and especially our jubilarians, “I have called you by name you are mine.” Why? Why me? “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you.” Will we ever understand the mystery and the magnitude of God’s love? It is the very foundation of our religious life: Love made manifest in Jesus Christ.
Love is a person – not a feeling, not a verb; that person is Jesus, God’s only begotten Son. “God is Love, and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him,” says St. John. That is why St. Paul and why each of these sisters was able to renounce everything the world has to offer in order to follow the call of God. The love that binds a religious to her Divine Spouse is the same love that binds a man and woman in the sacrament of Matrimony.
Sr. Augusta, 75 years of joyful dedication to Jesus and in a country not your own! With characteristic cheerfulness and serenity you have spent your life living and proclaiming the love of Christ. 75 anni di vita religiosa, 99 anni di vita – in tutti questi anni il Signore ti ha amato e tu sei stato tutto Suo, una con Lui, proclamando la parola di vita. Auguri grande e la promessa delle nostre preghiere.
Sr. Mary Agnes, yours is the joy of 60 years as Christ’s bride and apostle of the Word of God, following Him wherever He chose to lead you, letting yourself be sent in His name to people all across these United States & Canada. His Yes to you found echo in your repeated yeses to Him in mission. May Christ’s love carry and support you, transforming you always more into Himself.
Sr. Mary Jerome, Sr. Hosea Marie, the silver landmark has been reached: 25 years of religious profession. In these years you have already experienced that baptism into Christ’s death which is essential to any real life in Him. And Christ has proven His fidelity over and over again, inviting you to draw ever closer to His heart, giving you a share in His very own mission of evangelization through communications media. Your response has been creative and generous. May the Lord continue to be your All for the rest of your lives.
It seems proper today to remember in a special way (even if she is not celebrating an anniversary), our dear sister Mary Gabriela, who now is celebrating her eternal profession with the Lord. May her joy and union be complete as she contemplates the Love of her life, the One who carried and strengthened her in her vocation.
Religious are not finished saints, but like all Christians we are saints in the making.
We are called to give of ourselves as Christ gave of Himself: in poverty, in obedience, in chaste love. We have nothing of our own that we can glory in; everything is gift: God’s gift. God wants to radiate through our weakness and poverty so that it is clear to everyone, that Jesus alone is the source of all our good. So with our jubilarians we sing: “What is there to do but thank you then?” Our wish to you is that of Mother Thecla: “May your lives be a continual Magnificat for the many graces you have received.”
Yes, we thank the Lord, the Giver of all good gifts, and we thank you, our jubilarians, we love you, we rejoice with you. We carry you in our hearts today and always. God bless you.