THE TEACHING OF JESUS CONTINUED THROUGH SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now” (John 16:12)

Today’s Gospel (John 16:12-15) continues the Last Supper narrative where Jesus is preparing his followers for life after his death and resurrection. He had taught them much, but they could not absorb it all. This is why the Holy Spirit would guide them to remember and understand all that he had been and done and said.

The Holy Spirit has continued fulfilling this role until the present day. Often through calling people and giving them a special ability (charism) to serve God’s people. Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of one of these charismatic figures: Saint Eugene de Mazenod. He was one of the instruments through him the Holy Spirit guided the devastated Church in France back to Jesus as Savior. The Holy Spirit has continued to use the instrumentality of Eugene’s charism for two centuries, through his Mazenodian Family, to continue to teach to people in 67 countries the “I have much more to tell you” of Jesus.

Eugene’s words, written in 1818, continue to be a spurring call for us today:

Thus, it is supremely important, it is urgently imperative, that we lead the multitude of lost sheep back to the fold, that we teach these degenerate Christians who Jesus Christ is…  We must lead people to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints. (The Preface to the CC&RR)

At the Shrine of Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseilles, built by Bishop Eugene de Mazenod, there is this statue of Veronica wiping the face of the suffering Jesus. It is dedicated to all the missionaries who left from this city to cross the sea to bring the consolation of the Gospel. Today let us give thanks for all those who have brought us to a deeper knowledge of God and continue to do so.

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One Response to THE TEACHING OF JESUS CONTINUED THROUGH SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now.”

    I think of how we begin to feed a baby – first with its mother’s milk and then gradually juice and puréed vegetables and fruits, introducing proteins one at a time so that their bodies can learn to accept and process the more complicated nourishment. It is no different with a person who has been very ill in the hospital – perhaps on a ventilator for weeks and who has been fed through a tube; as the person begins to get better and heal they are gradually weaned off of the machinery that has supported and helped to keep them alive; they must once again be re-introduced to more complex food groups, a little bit each day.

    “We must lead people to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” Step by step.

    I think of Eugene who met Jesus on the Cross and fallen deeply in love with him; becoming a co-operator of the Saviour, a co-worker of Jesus on the Cross. We know how that deepened over the years.

    Today, in 67 countries around the world we as members of the Mazenodian Family also experience the Holy Spirit leading us, guiding us as we enter more fully into an ever-deepening of the Good News in our own lives. And we too take up the Cross and share our experiences of God with those around us.

    “We remember how you loved us to your death and still we celebrate for you are with us here. And we believe that we will see you, when you come in your glory Lord. We remember, we celebrate, we believe.”

    We remember and our celebration is one of thanksgiving for all who have brought and accompanied us on our ever-deepening journey into the heart of our Beloved.

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