HIS INFLUENCE IS NOT LIMITED TO THE TIME IN WHICH HE LIVED, BUT CONTINUES TO AFFECT OUR TIME AS WELL

Pope John Paul 2 concluded his homily at the canonization ceremony with these words:

Through patient work on himself, he was able to discipline a difficult character and govern his diocese with enlightened wisdom and firm goodness. Bishop de Mazenod led the faithful to welcome Christ in an ever more generous faith in order to live fully their vocation as children of God. His entire action was animated by a conviction which he expressed in these words: “To love the Church is to love Jesus Christ and vice versa.
Brothers and Sisters, Eugene de Mazenod invites us to follow him to present ourselves all together to the Savior who comes, the Child of Bethlehem, the Son of God made man…

Today the Church gives thanks to God for St. Eugene de Mazenod, apostle of his time, who, clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ, spent his life in service to the Gospel of God. We give thanks to God for the great transformation accomplished through the work of this Bishop. His influence is not limited to the time in which he lived, but continues to affect our time as well. Indeed, the good accomplished in virtue of the Holy Spirit does not perish, but lasts in every “hour” of history.
Thanks be to God!

Father Paolo Archiati, our Vicar General writes:

“The connection between St. Eugene, the Oblates, and the liturgical season of Advent does not stop there… Even Pope Francis, meeting the capitulars on 7 October 2016, in the sala clementina, took what was said years ago by his predecessor, inviting the Oblates of today to be “men of Advent” as well. It is an invitation that Pope Francis addressed not only to the members of the 36th General Chapter, but through them, to the whole Congregation, to each Oblate. Having said that St. Eugene was “obedient to the Holy Spirit in reading the signs of the times and assisting the work of God in the history of the Church”, the Pope addressed to us this invitation: “May you also be ‘men of Advent’, capable of grasping the signs of the new times and guiding our brothers and sisters in the ways that God opens in the Church and in the world”. It is a challenging invitation, especially if we consider what he said immediately after: “The Church is living, together with the whole world, an era of great transformations, in the most diverse fields. She needs men who carry in their hearts the same love for Jesus Christ that lived in the heart of the young Eugene de Mazenod, and the same unconditional love for her, which strives to be ever more open. It is important to work for a Church that is for everyone, a Church ready to welcome and accompany! The work to be done to accomplish all of this is vast; and you too have your specific contribution to offer”.

On the first Sunday of Advent in 1995, our Founder was canonized; on the third Sunday of this same liturgical season, in 2011, the martyrs of Spain were beatified, and, in December of last year, again on the third Sunday of Advent, the martyrs of Laos. We could say that Advent is truly “our” favorite liturgical time, because it reminds us that, through our mission, we are called to prepare the coming of the Redeemer in the hearts of those who, even without knowing it, await it.”

Pope Francis was talking to the Oblate religious and priests gathered with him, but everything that he says is applicable to every member of the Mazenodian Family.

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1 Response to HIS INFLUENCE IS NOT LIMITED TO THE TIME IN WHICH HE LIVED, BUT CONTINUES TO AFFECT OUR TIME AS WELL

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am reminded of the words that another member of our family mentioned to me last night: “missio Dei” – mission of God. “Bishop de Mazenod led the faithful to welcome Christ in an ever more generous faith in order to live fully their vocation as children of God.” And Francis spoke of Eugene, in obedience to the Holy Spirit “assisting the work of God in the history of the Church”. Eugene always saw himself as serving the Church.

    Yesterday afternoon people from our Province gathered using ZOOM to celebrate in prayer with each other Eugene’s canonization. The joy that I witnessed as each person entered into the ‘room’ brought tears to my eyes. This was a “family” celebration with people from all over: looking back I think this might be what it will look like when we die and meet together with everyone, entering into small chat rooms and then returning to the main celebration. Rooms without walls and being without the borders of space and time; each and every one of us experiencing perfectly a new oneness with and in Christ. The whole universe taking part. I do not have the words to describe my experience of yesterday in today’s light; but Francis’s words “The Church is living, together with the whole world, an era of great transformations, in the most diverse fields” comes close to describing it.

    Exciting times for all who are “Advent People” in a timeless way. We look and see through the eyes of our crucified Saviour and so witness and give witness to the Living Gospel – the “Missio Dei”.

    Dear St. Eugene – as your sons and daughters we continue to gather around you who is our model, just as did the 1st disciples of Jesus; your shared spirit carried on in and through all of us in our own times. God has called and you have invited us to put on a special mantle with our combined coat of arms woven into its fabric. It is how we walk together, shedding our combined light on each other and all that we meet.

    This banquet set before us today – is rich and plentiful; I must return here over the weekend so to be able experience and share all that we are offered in this feast that nourishes us to continue to grow and journey through this time preparation and hope.

    Together we will sing: “Come Lord Jesus, come…”

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