Today marks the last day of the special Year of Consecrated Life. It is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple - when Mary presented her Son in the Temple, consecrating Him to the Lord. It is because of this that many consecrated men and women celebrate the anniversaries of their profession of vows today - for today is often chosen as the day to consecrate oneself entirely to the Lord for service to His Kingdom.
Please pray for consecrated men and women today (for it is also the annual World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life!). And please pray for more young men and women to be open and courageous enough to respond the Lord's call to consecrate themselves to Christ, witnessing to Him through the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, so as to follow closely Christ who was poor, chaste and always obedient to the Father.
The Gospel reading today gives us two examples to imitate regarding discernment. Simeon was very attentive to the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life and came to the Temple to encounter the Lord that day after being prompted by the Holy Spirit. Anna was someone who persistently fasted and prayed. May our young discerners learn from the great example of these two elderly figures who had a deep interiority through an attentive relationship with the Holy Spirit and the discipline of prayer and fasting. They set before us a program of seeking the Lord's will and how to grow in our encountering the Lord.
On this last day of the Year of Consecrated Life, let us hear a brief reflection from our Br John on the significance of this year for the Church, as well as some insights on witnessing to Christ in Capuchin life, what attracted him to religious life, the joy of saying "Yes", and the Friars' Van ministry to the homeless in Sydney:
Wishing you peace and all that is good!