Welcome to Jubilee Eucharist, San Antonio March 3, 2019.
Praised be the Incarnate Word!
In the name of the sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, I welcome you to our Sesquicentennial Jubilee. Our whole Congregation is filled with joy, because this year, the “horn” – the trumpet of Jubilee- will sound in every corner of the world where our Incarnate Word Family has spread.
I want to imagine how many people will join our jubilee and I am not sure I even know how to count them: sisters, associates, collaborators past and present, patients, students, alumni, indigenous peoples, neighborhood friends, all those we serve with our charism; and of course, our friends and everyone’s family. How many people will be reached by the sound of the trumpet announcing our Jubilee!
But the sound will also be heard by all the members of the Incarnate Word Family who rest in the Peace of God, this great “cloud of witnesses” of our Charism. We need to begin our celebrations with reverence for all the brave women, the CCVI Sisters of our history, who served, struggled, took risks, who failed, and got up again, who remained united, who suffered and delighted in our Charism.
We are here thanks to them. We are here because they persevered.
We are grateful that each one of them sacrificed her whole life to extend the Reign of God. Let us pause to consider the names of all those who have gone before us faithful in our Charism, who are in the heart of the Incarnate Word.
[Pause in silence with invitation to name each sister]
This sesquicentennial will be a Holy Year. We will return to the heart of our CCVI Family, to give thanks, to reflect, and to renew our commitment. Jubilee calls us to take two loving looks, one toward our heritage and another toward our legacy. We will gaze upon our history as heritage: recognizing God’s mercy and noticing all the places that need forgiveness. This gaze will fill us with gratitude. May we find rightful ways to express this gratitude, for many of these sisters remain among us.
At the same time, this year will be an opportunity to gaze upon our legacy, toward the future. If heritage is what we receive, legacy is what we will leave. With this gaze, we need to read the new signs of the times, to understand how our charism will remain vibrant as we respond to the needs of today with generosity and in collaboration.
Today as we begin our sesquicentennial, I would like to share the prayer for this Jubilee year that our Leadership Team makes:
We pray to the Incarnate Word to live with gratitude for the journey behind us, for all those you have collaborated with us, for all the persons that have been touched by the work of God in us. My grandmother used to say, “un corazón agradecido, es un corazón bendecido.” [a grateful heart is a blessed heart]
We pray to the Incarnate Word for the gift of communion. Jubilee can only be celebrated in community. We want to live this holy year as a Congregational Body, rediscovering the marvelous gift of our diversity in communion. This Jubilee belongs to everyone. The energy we are experiencing for Jubilee happens when we are together, when we place all our gifts in the service of others, and when every grain no matter how small, is welcomed by the rest.
Time to Let Go/Welcome
We pray to the Incarnate Word to grant us the grace to “let go”, to let the land lie fallow, so we can welcome. Just as the hands of our jubilee symbol are open to let go and to receive, we ask that we may enter gently into our vulnerability as people and congregation. May these hands remind us to remain open to receive what God is asking of us, that we may do so with patience, without hurrying the pace, so we may lovingly wait for what God will show us.
We pray to the Incarnate Word to grant us a year of forgiveness and encounters that reconcile. We ask that each one of us will enter into the silence and the sacred space to seek the reconciliation with her own story, and with others. That we may have encounters that transform, that we may touch the fragility of our sisters and brothers with mercy, recognition, and tenderness. We pray that this year we learn how to accompany others, and to allow ourselves to be accompanied.
We pray to the Incarnate Word, that this Jubilee year will allow us as disciples of Jesus to be Jubilee Makers. We need to be jubilee makers in our communities, in the places where we serve, in our Church burdened by crisis and thirsty for truth, in our societies more and more polarized. We need to be jubilee makers for all displaced peoples. We need to be jubilee makers who restore human dignity, care for creation, appreciating one another, creating networks with people of good will.
❖ ❖ ❖
Incarnate Word Family, we will live a YEAR OF GRACE, we will find our joy contagious, we will witness to the Jubilee that Jesus created.
With the hope that we will live this year with strength and consciously, in unity:
Our Jubilee has begun! Let the trumpet sound!!
“A life for God, and a heart for others”
❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖