23 May “Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.” (Rom 8, 39). FIRST VOWS VIETNAM
It had gone according to what we planned!
The pandemic covid-19 came back unexpectedly in our country while we were expecting something great on May 18, 2021 – Feast of our Mother Foundress – Saint Raphaela Mary Porras. The seven second year novices would make their first vows and the three SOVs would make their second juridical renewal of vows. In the end, God had another plan and directed us to see rich results like in the readings of the celebration today that God reveals His plan as a step at a time
The situation had been frustrating for us.
Sometimes God’s plan is so contrary to the way that we think that, unless he directs us more plainly, we are unable to participate. Then our wisdom, and by implication the methods that arise from such wisdom, is of no use, in fact it stands in the way of God’s plan because these methods, that originate from man’s wisdom, inherently encompass this lack of conception regarding God’s will.
The readings today helped us to deepen the Charism of the Institute. The consecrated life is defined as a journey of following a person whose named Jesus in the experience of the Foundresses to serve the Church and the world.
The consecrated life has two aspects: (1) the ACI Congregation is an apostolic Congregation with the mission of evangelizing education. The readings speak of this. The prophet Jeremiah was sent to the children of Israel. Saint Paul was in the evangelizing mission. Six disciples and Peter cast the fish. This mission helps us to do the conversion and becomes new persons in Christ and be faithful to the Gospel. This is not the human’s work, but from the mission of God’s mercy. We have received from God this mission. The experience of the seven disciples allowed us to believe in the truth when we are without God and with God. When the Lord appeared, they were able to have a great catch. Where is the standard of failure or success found? In the right side of the boat. Therefore, the apostolate that we are doing must reflect the sacrificial love of Christ at His side they pierced. So, it will be useless if we don’t follow this standard in our apostolic life.
(2) The ACI sisters contemplate the Lord in the Eucharist. This is the experience of renew oneself by God’s graces. To have the confession of faith, St. Paul experienced the persecution to the Church and his conversion after that. Like Peter denied His Master and the Risen Christ conquered him by the question “Do you love me?”. The breakfast on the shore of Tiberias in the Gospel is for us to see the portrait of the disciples – the Eucharist. The table of the Eucharist is for the disciples to receive God’s sacrificial blessings in order to be strengthened to live for others, a sacrifice of love and spirit cost our life and reach to the enemies. So, if we accept any other standards, we betray our own cross in our consecrated life.
The relationship between two aspects is the mission and the self – betterment. When the disciples become better, they are worthier to be sent out to help others and proclaim God’s redemption.
Today the Church accepts our seven second years novices to consecrate their life. The the Congregation, the Foundresses and the faithful are present with them and pray for them to be the real Handmaids, not the half – hearted Handmaids. We all believe that “Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.” (Rom 8, 39) as they chose.
Theresa Quyen, aci