The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated next Friday, June 23. “Let us therefore live this Feast so dear to all of us with our gaze fixed on the Heart of Jesus, allowing ourselves to be enriched by the testimony of those who have gone before us in the history of our Institute and devoting ourselves ever more deeply in daily fidelity to the values of the Gospel. Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart! In the Year of the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute.” (The General Council).
“Yes, God so loved”
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world but so that through him the world might be saved”
(Jn 3, 16)
Most Dear confreres,
Greetings and Prayers: Happy Feast Day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
God our Father sent his only Son as a sign of his love for needy and suffering humanity and consoled us all through the Holy Spirit, the gift of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord Crucified and Risen. We believe that every disciple is called and sent to announce, give testimony of and serve this love of God. Let us all thank the Lord for he has made of Saint Daniel Comboni, and of us, his children, Comboni Missionaries, messengers, witnesses and servants of his love.
All that our Father and Founder, Saint Daniel Comboni, understood of the great love of God, he brought to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, symbol of God’s love for humanity.
“Since I have an extreme need of the help of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Sovereign of Central Africa, the very joy, hope fortune and the all of her poor Missionaries, I write to you my friend…to commend and entrust to the Sacred Heart the most precious interests of my trying and difficult Mission to which I have vowed my whole soul, my body, my blood and my life!! (Writings, 5255-5256).
Most Dear Confreres, in this year in which we are celebrating 150 years of our Missionary Institute, we wish to continue to contemplate and thank God for the love that was lived in the life of Saint Daniel Comboni and that of many of our confreres and for the great generosity shown to the people of God despite our fragility, our limits and our sins.
“I make common cause with each one of you, and the happiest day of my life will be the one on which I may be able to give my life for you” (Writings, 3159).
Indeed, Comboni and our confreres allowed their hearts to open so that they might more resemble that of Jesus, in such a way as to make common cause and share generously in the mission of God among the peoples where we are and especially among those who suffer, are marginalised and impoverished.
“I am always with my dear lepers; I speak to them of the goodness of God and I teach them the Word of God. He chapel is attached to my little house so Jesus is close to Giosuè: who can be happier than me? Is this not a little Paradise? As to the evil which is upon me, O, I kiss the hand of the Lord that gave me leprosy; is it not a grace to be able to suffer so for these souls? I have but one desire: to die a leper among my lepers!” (Bro. Giosuè Dei Cas, 1880-1932).
Yes, we continue to thank the Lord for each of our confreres who makes common cause and proclaims Jesus Christ and his Gospel to build up the Kingdom of God, remembering that some have paid the price of their testimony with their lives.
“The Cross is the solidarity of God that takes up the human journey and human sorrow, not to make it eternal but to put an end to it. The manner in which he wishes to end it is not through force or domination but by the way of love. Christ preached and lived this new dimension. Fear of death did not make him desist from his project of love. Love is stronger than death” (Fr. Ezechiele Ramin, Homily to the Faithful, Good Friday, Cacoal, 05-04-1985).
Let us therefore live this Feast so dear to all of us with our gaze fixed on the Heart of Jesus, allowing ourselves to be enriched by the testimony of those who have gone before us in the history of our Institute and devoting ourselves ever more deeply in daily fidelity to the values of the Gospel.
Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart!
In the Year of the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute
The MCCJ General Counsil