Cardinal Vincent celebrated a Mass to inaugurate the Year of Consecrated Life on Saturday 29 November at Westminster Cathedral. Concelebrating were Bishop John Sherrington and priests from the Diocese.
Cardinal Vincent began his homily by reflecting on his visit to the parish of the Holy Family in Gaza the previous Sunday and the devastation which he witnessed. He praised the work of the 12 religious sisters from the Congregation of the Incarnate Word, the Sisters of the Rosary and the Missionaries of Charity who dedicate their lives to serving those among whom they live.
He observed that in all their work they always radiate joy: 'The sisters are there in the midst of the community, doing what religious sisters do. They are doing what is done here 100 times over, in different circumstances. They carry out their mission in extreme circumstances. And it always done with a smile, always with delight and happiness, with the joy of wanting to work hard and serve the Lord wherever it is needed.'
Addressing his words to those in cosecrated life, the Cardinal spoke about the source of this joy being in the Scriptures proclaimed at the Mass.
Alluding to the seal on the heart from the first reading, he said, 'It is a seal which is tender and strong, a seal that is treasured, a seal that makes clear the source of joy for it is a seal of our Master.'
He went on to say, 'This Year of Consecrated Life is for renewing this depth in our lives. It is an opportunity for making clearer and explaining publicly the character of our calling.This is surely one of our aims during this Year: to tell our story and to rejoice in all we have received.The Gospel today spells out a crucial lesson: we cannot truly tell our story unless the person of Jesus is central to the account we give.'
The Cardinal encouraged those in consecrated life to share their stories and to continue to radiate their joy.
The Year of Consecrated Life begins at Advent and continues to February 2016.
The Cardinal's full homily can be read here.