The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is a special day for the Church, but more so, a special day for you. It is your congregation’s feast day. Though its actual day is on December 8 but I would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you “A blessed and Happy Feast Day.”
I think when Msgr Wachter was looking for a name for your congregation, he might have had a great devotion to Mother Mary. And I think why he chose “Immaculate Conception” was to remind the Sisters of the mighty work God has done in the life of Mary; and I believe He could do wonders too in your lives when you continue to surrender yourselves totally to His will.
Today is also the end of your retreat. I would like to thank Brother Kipoy for coming all the way to facilitate your time with God. I am sure you have benefited from his guidance. And also thanks to Fr Yip for celebrating the Eucharist for you. I hope you are now looking forward to go out and live out your vocation fully and joyfully.
The Year of Consecrated Life is about to come to an end, slightly less than two months from now. I think by now you would have memorised the theme of the Year, “Wake up the World!” Throughout this Year of Consecrated Life, our parishes have been praying for you and for all those who have consecrated their lives in the service of God for the Church and for society. Our people hope that through living your vows of obedience, chastity and poverty personally and in community, you will wake up the world to understand that there is much more than just living. Our purpose in life is to build the Kingdom of God here on earth. This will happen when we live and promote the Gospel values. I pray that you will be excited to do this, especially in the coming Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Pope Francis said, “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life … It is absolutely essential for the Church and for the credibility of her message that she herself live and testify to mercy. Her language and her gestures must transmit mercy” (MV, No 10, 12).
True enough, to be credible in all what we say and do as People of God, our life is to be the good news. Being merciful is definitely one which the world is looking for in us.
And so, my dear Sisters, go and wake up the world; but start with a compassionate heart, and be merciful in your words and actions.
I do not wish to prolong my speech because I think you have heard enough in your retreat. I just wish to invite all of you to the launching of the Jubilee Year of Mercy at Sacred Heart Cathedral on 8 December at 7:30 pm. Let us pray that we will learn to be merciful like the Father in the coming Jubilee Year and beyond.
Thank you and God bless you.