Written on: February 3, 2013
Today is designated as World Day for Consecrated Life. It is also Super Bowl Sunday. Could there ever be a connection? Well, we might connect them with the word “dedication”. This afternoon, we are going to dedicate ourselves to party and partisanship. This morning, we are asked to appreciate the life of dedication that is lived out by religious men and women.
The Holy Father asks us to celebrate a world day dedicated to consecrated life for several reasons: First, to thank God for the gift Consecrated life has been to the Church’s ministry; second, to make us all more aware of this calling and more appreciative of its presence in the Church and world. Lastly, the Pope urges those of us who are following this path in life to deepen our understanding of our mission.
So, today, we who are professed religious ask all of you to join us in giving thanks for our vocation to consecrated life. To give thanks for countless religious ministries that put faith into action throughout the world.
All of us are consecrated by our baptism to follow a way of life that is our unique path, be it single, married or consecrated life or as in the case of Father Jack and Father Ed, our celebrants and friends, priesthood.
Our first reading offers a good example of how uniquely God calls each of us along a specific path. Before Jeremiah was born, God knew him intimately. God dedicated Jeremiah and appointed him to a particular path. It is the same for each of us and important for us to remember God’s promise, “I am with you to deliver you!” (just think of this as if God is saying, “don’t worry about it, I’m going to deliver!”)
Our second reading is Paul’s recipe for success in everyone’s vocation, that is, to love in concrete ways: to be kind and patient, forbearing, hopeful and a person of truth, or integrity.
The Gospel reading shows Jesus living out his vocation and receiving both high praise and strong skepticism. We have experiences similar to Jesus’ so we need to remember that God knows us, and is with us to carry out whatever God wants us to be and do.
As we continue our prayer and liturgy this morning, let us thank God for giving such meaning and grace to each person’s path of life. It is important to respect and support one another’s path. If we do, then we can stand with others and with persons like Jeremiah and Paul and Jesus to bring God’s love to our families, our communities and our world.
Today is a day to remember the concept of dedication. So let’s pray for one another. Then, let’s enjoy our dedicated afternoon, and finally, may the best team win!