25th WORLD DAY OF CONSECRATED LIFE
Dear Confreres, Sisters, Associates, and friends,
Today, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Church marks the 25th World Day of Consecrated Life. In the Angelus Talk on Sunday, January 31, Pope Francis invited us to celebrate this day as the “Day of Encounter”. At the centre of the liturgical celebration is the encounter of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – with Simeon and Anna, two faithful and elderly prophets in the Temple at Jerusalem.
Simeon and Anna took the child Jesus into their arms and recognized their Redeemer! As Simeon proclaimed, Jesus is not only the Redeemer of Israel but light and hope for all peoples. These two devout prophets witnessed to Jesus and shared this encounter with all they met. Mary treasured their words and pondered them in her heart.
The World Day of Consecrated Life calls each of us to recognize and witness to the Redeemer in every encounter we experience! During this period of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to consciously and carefully ensure that real encounters still take place. Even as we face the challenges of maintaining the physical distance required to curb contagion, we cannot lose our ‘closeness to people’ – especially the abandoned and the poor – which is at the heart of our charism.
Called to a genuine encounter with God and with the abandoned poor, may we, like Simeon and Anna, be authentic and prophetic witnesses to the Redeemer in our wounded world!
Blessings as you celebrate the World Day of Consecrated Life! Following Jesus our Redeemer, accompanied by Mary, our Perpetual Help, may we be signs of joy and hope for our brothers and sisters.
Your brother in Christ our Redeemer,
Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.