On Saturday 1st February, Cardinal Vincent celebrated the annual Mass for Consecrated Life at Westminster Cathedral ahead of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
In addition to concelebrating religious order priests, men and women from a number of religious congregations and in consecrated life present in the Diocese of Westminster were in attendance.
Looking at the example of Simeon and Anna in the day’s Gospel reading, he explained in his homily that, like Simeon and Anna, those in consecrated life ‘live more explicitly “for the sake of the kingdom”. It is at the heart of our consecration.’
He examined more closely two aspects of this witness. The first is the ‘calling to live the virtue of chastity in a celibate way of life,’ explaining that ‘it only makes sense if our eyes are set on the fulfilment of life in the Kingdom that is still to come.’
‘This is a witness that is rich both in tradition and in promise,’ he added. ‘It is a way of life that draws us closer to [Christ] and gives us the joy that only he can instil in our hearts.’
The second aspect ‘is the way we understand and approach the inescapable reality of bodily death’.
‘We see death as an approaching new life,’ he affirmed.
‘We pray for a death filled with light,’ he said. ‘We accompany others in their moments of dying with this same spirit. We seek to love and pray them into the light. We try to witness to this light in our daily living.’
The Mass took place on the last day of the Scripture Road Show, taking place in the Cathedral as part of the ‘The Year of the Word’. Many took the opportunity to visit the Tents of Meeting after Mass.