Source: Vatican News
Men and women consecrated to God have "caught sight of the treasure worth more than any worldly good," according to Pope Francis. The ability to recognise Jesus and see "what really matters in life," is at the heart of religious life, the Pope observed at a Vigil Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which marks the World Day of Consecrated Life.
The Pope compared the consecrated men and women present at the 2 February Mass to Simeon, who, when he encountered Christ in the Temple declared: "my eyes have seen your salvation" (Lk 2:30). He said that Simeon, "sees Jesus as small, humble, the one who has come to serve, not to be served, and defines Himself as servant". Seeing Jesus in this way, and being able to see things as He does, will teach us how "to live in order to serve". The Pope said, "we need to have a gaze that seeks out our neighbour". He said men and women who are consecrated are called to bring that gaze into our world.
Like Simeon, the consecrated have a vision which begins with "knowing how to see grace", especially by seeing how God works in our lives, "not only in life's grand moments, but also in our fragility and weakness". The Pope warned that "seeing things in a worldly way" is a great temptation in religious life, which can lead to a loss of passion, sadness, distrust. Being able "to perceive God's grace for us, like Simeon", on the other hand, gives meaning to the gift of voluntary poverty, chastity, and obedience.
The Pope added that, "the eyes of Simeon saw salvation because they were expecting it. They were eyes that were waiting, full of hope". Like Simeon and Anna in the Temple, those who are consecrated to God must have hope, explained the Pope. The secret, he said, is "never to alienate oneself from the Lord, who is the source of hope".
The Holy Father concluded his homily saying: "Dear brothers and sisters, let us thank God for the gift of the consecrated life and ask of him a new way of looking, that knows how to see grace, how to look for one's neighbour, how to hope".
"Then", he said, "our eyes too will see salvation".
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