Extract from the reflection that Sister Tere Maya dedicated on the occasion of the celebration of the Sisters Jubilee 2020 & 2021 in San Antonio city.
We need Jubilee!
by Sor Tere Maya
I rejoice because this year we celebrate your Jubilees. Today we have to acknowledge Jubilees are vital to our congregational life because Jubilees remind us our life is all about God: about responding to God’s love, about allowing this love to form and transforms us so we can offer it to our world. Thank you for your willingness to respond to this love; thank you for all the years of witness, effort, commitment, and yes, questions and tears but also joy and lots of love. We are gathered in this sacred space, your Congregation, your friends and family– a space expanded through the magic of technology, reaching many corners of the world– because your whole lives, you have responded to God’s love with love.
The last few months offered many reasons to reflect on your gift of perseverance. Exclaustration, sudden departures, and grief – have questioned, worried, and burdened the very soul of our community. That is why celebrating Jubilees is so important- because we run the risk of setting our heart’s sight only on those moments and not in what more than 1000 years of love, dedicated to service means. Yes, between all of this year’s jubilarians serving throughout our Congregation, there are more the 1000 years of “A Life for God and a heart for others.” You allow us to lift our sight to the mystery of the Incarnation: God loving in each one of you.
I see you, and I wish each of you would share: How did you get here? What has kept you in this Congregation? How have you overcome the difficult moments? Why are you so filled with joy today? … I am certain you would say in many ways that God loved you first, that you have allowed God to love in you. Your perseverance for 50 or 60 years is the fruit of that relationship in Love.
Jubilee is the celebration of a journey in love. A life-long response to love and the many times you had to start over. That is how you get to Jubilee!
The Annunciation story, central to the mystery of the Incarnation, which “we recognize as the foundation of our Charism, lives and spirituality” in today’s Gospel, begins with God making the first move. The angel is sent, and the message is one of love “God is with you.” Mary’s response has always caused me to wonder… instead of saying “how blessed to know this,” or “how wonderful,” or “thank you, “… she is troubled and afraid, even questions this news of God with us, of God’s unconditional presence in love. Only a journey as long as yours, Sister Jubilarians, gets us to the end of the gospel story because it takes time to accept that we are truly loved.
It takes time to believe it. Only the rhythm of a conversation through time settles the questions, the doubt, the fear. Only experiences-past which reveal the fullness of this love allows us to understand how Mary moved from pondering and questioning to a response filled with love: “Behold, Here I am, ready to love as God has loved me.”
Sister Jubilarians your mission to love remains; your lifelong witness to this movement in love will be needed in a post-pandemic world. You might feel old, but it is never too late for love! Our world needs to know love, and you can witness that love is of God, that “whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” You can witness how God’s love knows, forms, and sends… and how this love transforms. You can witness that love gets you through and, in the end, is the only explanation for why you got here today.
We invite you to see the Jubilee 2021 photo gallery in USA.