Being A Happy Tree | Word from the Shepherd No. 165

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time | Year C
Jer.17:5-8; 1Cor.15:12, 16-20; Luke 6:17, 20-26

Simeon and Anna, elderly persons, who lived in the Temple, waited, expected and discerned the presence of God and His activities. The Spirit moved them. They saw the salvation in Jesus, the child. They took Him, God, into their arms. They consecrated themselves to the Temple for God.

The call to Consecrated Life is not about doing, working and activities. It is an option for a way of life in Christ Jesus, where our happiness  lies in a life-giving relationship.

He is the refreshing stream, the resurrected life and the authentic Happiness in our suffering, poverty, hunger, mourning, abuse and persecution.

He continues to be life-giving bread, the living water for our thirst, the life-giver that overcomes death and the formula for authentic happiness.

What accompanies this choice are our  availability, our waiting,  our expecting and our embracing the grace moments with joy and praise. It is important to assess if we are authentic or not in our embrace of the call to Consecrated Life. The following 3 questions are indicative of our faithfulness to this call.

  1.  “What moves us?”: The Holy Spirit? A burning within for the Christ? A sensing of God’s presence in the vulnerable and the littleness? Which Spirit is moving you?( Spirit of God or spirit of the world?)
  2. What do our eyes see?”: Do they recognise Christ? Are our eyes worldly? Or they open, compassionate and sapiential (wise) when they gaze? Do your eyes look within and see beyond?
  3. What do we take into our arms?”: The call is to embrace the Christ, not  the many small and meaningless attachments. Do the small things amaze you, move you to praise and thanksgiving?  Or are you now, a bitter and complaining person?

Consecrated persons “build with the Lord” or “gather with the Lord”.

They leave behind a legacy, not a curse.
They are like a tree by the riverside, always fresh, green and fruitful.
They are alive in the Resurrected Christ.
They find happiness in the unhappiness (poverty, hunger, weeping and abuse),
see the blessing in the suffering,
see meaning in the meaningless, and
connect with the Jesus in all their situations of struggle.
Those who dare to embrace Consecrated Life must be ready to be reflections of happiness, joy, praise and thanksgiving.

Joy is a beautiful reality in the life of many consecrated persons, but it is also a great challenge for all of us,” he said, adding “authentic joy, not self-referential or complacent, is the most credible witness of a full life.” (Pope Francis)