Day of Consecrated Life

God enters the temple not as a powerful ruler but as a little child in his Mother’s arms. The King of glory comes not with a show of human force and power, not with a great fanfare and noise, not causing fright and destruction. He comes into the temple as he came into the world, as an infant in silence, in poverty, and in the company of the poor and the wise.” – Pope John Paul II

On February 2, we observe the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, honouring Jesus Christ’s presentation in the Temple when He was a young child. Jesus’ presentation in the Temple reflects how He  fulfills the Old Covenant. According to Old Testament law, a sacrifice had to be offered in the Temple when a child was consecrated to the Lord. Mary and Joseph  honour this tradition, as described in Luke 2:22-24

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is in the Roman Rite also attached to the World Day of  Consecrated Life.   It is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed, symbolizing Christ, who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.

Consecrated Life What is it? The term “consecrate” in Latin language is consecrare and it has its root in the word sacrum meaning holy, God-like or set apart for God. Hence to be consecrated or to live a consecrated life is to be chosen by God exclusively for Himself. As it is only God who makes holy, it is only God who consecrates people. The initiative belongs to Him alone. It is only when God decides to incorporate one into His service or fold that the individual cooperates.

In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more dearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come. we know that the  Pope, Bishops, Priests, Nuns and Religious are the chosen ones by God.

Their consecrated life is a gift which the Father has given to the church by means of the Spirit so that, in faithfulness to the Gospel, the most characteristic traits of the life of His Son Jesus, the chaste, poor and obedient one, and the unfathomable riches of his mystery , might be present in the world and  Through them may draw everyone towards the kingdom of God.

On this day, we also reflect on the gift of consecrated life. While the momentary satisfaction of selfish living ultimately leads to emptiness, living a life of holiness, dedicated to God’s service, will give true contentment and peace. As Pope Francis has expressed:

Consecrated life is born and reborn of an encounter with Jesus as he is: poor, chaste and obedient… And while worldly life soon leaves our hands and hearts empty, life in Jesus fills us with peace to the very end, as in the Gospel, where Simeon and Anna come happily to the sunset of their lives with the Lord in their arms and joy in their hearts.

– By Gladys Da Silva