KENINGAU – The Year of Consecrated Life dedicated by Pope Francis for 2015 came to a close for the Religious and priests serving in the Diocese of Keningau on 5 Mar 2016 in conjunction with the World Day of Consecrated Life for 2016 at St Francis Xavier Cathedral here.
Present at the Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop Cornelius Piong, were nine priests, four religious congregations and the secular Bethany community (FSIC, IJ, FSC, CSE and SKB).
In his homily, the prelate reminded those present to always be grateful for the gift of consecrated life, and recalled that the pontiff opened a Year of Consecrated Life as an occasion of renewal for men and women in consecrated life, as thanksgiving among the faithful for the service of the sisters, brothers, priests and nuns, and an invitation to young Catholics to consider religious vocation.
The prelate reiterated that the diocese — clergy, religious and laity — are committed to realise the diocesan goal of walking together and building together a community of people who are committed and effective in serving God’s Kingdom. Today the diocese is 23 years of age, and he hoped that the clergy, religious and laity are committed to constantly assess the development of the faith, whether it is growing or rather, the reverse. The answer can be found in themselves, in their loyalty to and union with God.
The presider continued to reflect that God desires “love and not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts” (Hosea 6:6); explaining that God desires from them above all a faith that is deeply rooted in a personal union with Him, in order to be committed and effective agents of service for the Lord. This, however, cannot come from human ability alone, but from God Himself.
He continued, “Living in union with God should be our culture, and a personal intimacy with God to be life itself. Therefore, it is pertinent to always renew our commitment, as clergy and religious and laity, to God so that our union with God becomes our source of strength, holiness and wisdom. We need to serve together with Jesus, and not on our own.”
After the celebration of Mass, all the religious and clergy adjourned to the parish hall to share a meal together. – Aldrin Benedict