Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord: Day for Consecrated Life

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is kept in the Church as a Day for Consecrated Life. Speaking to religious on this day in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said the following (my italics added):
...the sacrifice of the Son of God symbolized by his presentation in the Temple is the model for every man and woman who consecrates their life totally to the Lord. The purpose of this Day is threefold: first of all to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of consecrated life; secondly to promote knowledge and appreciation of it among the whole People of God and lastly to invite all those who have dedicated their life totally to the cause of the Gospel to celebrate the marvels that the Lord has worked in them....

... it is precisely and only on the basis of this faith, on this profession of faith in Jesus Christ, the only and definitive Mediator, that consecrated life, a life consecrated to God through Christ, has meaning in the Church. It has meaning only if he is truly the mediator between God and us; otherwise it would merely be a form of sublimation or of escape. If Christ were not truly God and at the same time fully man, the foundation of Christian life as such would be lacking as, in quite a significant way, would the foundation of every Christian consecration of man and woman. The consecrated life, in fact, "powerfully" witnesses and expresses the reciprocal seeking of God and man, the love that attracts them to each other. The very fact of being consecrated makes the consecrated person, as it were, a "bridge" to God for all who encounter him or her, a reminder, a reference point. And this is all by virtue of the mediation of Jesus Christ, the Consecrated One of the Father. He is the foundation! He who shared our weaknesses so that we might participate in his divine nature.

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