Excerpts from the Reflection shared by
Catherine Lloyd rscj and Kim Sook Hee rscj
during the ceremony of Final Profession
We would like to congratulate each one of you, on saying “yes” to God's invitation to share his love and dream for the world and all humanity.
With your families, friends and colleagues, and the whole Society we rejoice with you as you celebrate the loving fidelity of your God and the faith which has brought you to this day.
[You] are following in the footsteps of generations of women who have committed themselves to sharing the dream and vision of our foundress, Madeleine Sophie Barat, whose whole life was rooted in a passion for God and a vision for the transformation of the society of her time. She grew up amidst the vineyards of Joigny in France, the daughter of a winemaker. She knew about vines and their care.... The vine and the branches spoke to her of the intimacy of the relationship between ourselves and Christ.
I am the Vine... you are the branches....
Photo from the Probation File: Visit to Joigny
[The Gospel of] John reminds us of the ongoing relationship of love, in which we are rooted in God and God is rooted in us. God is in our hearts and we are each held in the Heart of God. Throughout your lives, but particularly in Probation, you have each been touched in your innermost being by God’s tender and merciful love. In the words of the devise given to your group, “From his fullness you have all received, grace upon grace” (Jn1:16). Jesus has made known to you what he has learnt from the Father and you have encountered the profound mystery of God’s transforming love for you and now your lives are not the same.
In the face of so many graces from God, how else can we respond except by offering these same gifts to others? Or as the gospel says “bear fruit.” As Religious of the Sacred Heart, we commit ourselves to bearing fruit by “laying down our lives” in the service of our sisters and brothers, sharing the vision for the reign of God.... A vision where the broken-hearted are healed, the captives are set free, where those who mourn are comforted and the oppressed rejoice in the good news that they are loved.
The Missioning of the Newly Professed
Photo by Ana María Uribe rscj
[You are] “sent” to your provinces to live out this mission in our beautiful but often fragile and troubled world. As you go, remember too that ... you are not alone and you cannot bear fruit without being rooted in Jesus. The branch needs the vine and the vine the branch, so that the life of the vine can flow through, resulting in abundant fruit. If the branch leaves the vine, it withers and dies. In your life as professed religious, we pray that you will always recognise your need of God and desire to keep your relationship with Him alive and fruitful
Each one of us here is a branch of the True Vine that is Jesus. God’s constant invitation to us is to keep moving forward in faith with Him, trusting his graces, freeing our own hearts so that we can free the hearts of others.
Let us give thanks to God for the gift of His transforming love.
Let us pray for each other that we will have the faith to believe that nothing can come between us and that faithful and everlasting love.
Let us pray for our sisters making the offering of their lives... that they will go on trusting in the fidelity of God and in the love of their sisters, knowing themselves called by name and sustained by the power and strength of the One who has called.