“I want to say one word to you and this word is joy. Wherever consecrated people are, there is always joy!”.
Dear brothers and sisters,
The beginning of Evangelii Gaudium, within the fabric of the teaching of Pope Francis, rings out with surprising vitality, proclaiming the won-derful mystery of the Good News that trans-forms the life of the person who takes it to heart. We are told the parable of joy: our meeting with Jesus lights up in us its original beauty, the beauty of the face on which the Father’s glory shines (cf. 2 Cor 4:6), radiating happiness.
This Congregation for Institutes of Conse-crated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life invites us to reflect on the graced time we have been given to live, at the special invitation that the Pope addresses to those in consecrated life.
To accept this teaching means to renew our existence in accordance with the Gospel, not in a radical way understood as a model of perfection and often of separation, but by adhering whole-heartedly to the saving encounter that trans-forms our life. “It is a question of leaving every-thing to follow the Lord. No, I do not want to say ‘radical’. Evangelical radicalness is not only for religious: it is demanded of all. But religious follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way. It is this witness that I expect of you. Religious should be men and women able to wake the world up.
In their finite humanity, on the margins, in their everyday struggles, consecrated men and women live out their fidelity, giving a reason for the joy that lives in them. So they become splen-did witnesses, effective proclaimers, companions and neighbours for the women and men with whom they share a common history and who want tofind their Father’s house in the Church.