Embracing Creative Change Through Deeper Commitment

Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

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Declaring the YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE from 30th November 2014 to 2nd February 2016, Pope Francis shared insightful reflections: “Every consecrated person is a gift for the People of God on a journey. There is much need of their presence, that strengthens and renews the commitment to spread the gospel, to Christian education, to charity for the most needy, to contemplative prayer; the commitment to a human and spiritual formation of young people, of families; the commitment to justice and peace in the human family.”

He goes on to say that the “Consecrated persons are SIGNS OF GOD in diverse environments of life, and they are LEAVEN for the growth of a more just and fraternal society, and they are the PROPHETS of sharing life with the least and the lost.” All Christians are linked to God in Baptism and are called to make a generous gift of their lives, in the family, at work, in the service of the Church, and in works of mercy.  However, Every consecrated person experiences this commitment IN A PARTICULAR WAY. Total consecration to God and to the poor signifies carrying the light of Jesus to those places where the darkness is thickest and spreading HIS HOPE to hearts that are very much discouraged. For the consecrated, “PROPHETISM IS A NON-NEGOTIABLE. Even those who are being formed for consecrated life should learn NOT TO BE SAD OR GLOOMY. That would mean, something is wrong with their VERY VOCATION.”  

It is with this background that I share the aspect of our commitment and consecrated life.

People are generally quick to make promises but relatively slow to fulfill them. They are incredibly eager to make commitments but indifferent towards executing them. They are prompt in taking up responsibilities but often need to be more particular about carrying them out. Commitments open tremendous possibilities. When there is commitment, we do not easily resign. While commitment looks for options, resignation quickly gives up. Commitment leads to creativity. To reach our goal, sometimes we must go with the current and sometimes against it. Sometimes we have to float, and at other times, swim. Sometimes, we have to be strong and, at different times, vulnerable.

Commitment makes the impossible possible. Great works are wrought not by strength but with commitment. Lack of commitment has resulted in more failures than lack of efficiency. Commitment gives focus. Life is driven by focus and disciplined by commitment. Nothing is ever accomplished if there is no focus, discipline, and dedication. It overcomes obstacles. Obstacles are bound to come our way in life. They are problems as well as possibilities. Those who are committed are firm and resolute.

Radical changes have occurred in history. But only a few have made history. In other words, only a handful of people have been active agents of change in the world. If we examine their lives, we see they have been fully committed to their cause. They were least worried about their ego. They were able to stand the test of stiff opposition. They could challenge their adversaries in word and deed. Martyrdom was the price they paid for the liberation of their people. Committed persons are fearless in change. Only committed persons can bring about creative change in society. When we are irresponsible and dissipated, we get reconciled to the minimum. Jesus is a man of commitment. The fundamental consciousness of being sent kept Jesus focused on the mission in a single-minded way.

The Easter proclamation has severe implications for us. It calls for a radical transformation from exclusivity to inclusivity, from a narrow vision to an all-encompassing one. It drives us out of our comfort zones to work for the welfare of all with renewed hope affirming that neither death nor sin, neither evil nor wrong, neither hatred nor injustice has the final word in God’s scheme of things. Our hope may be jumbled, nervous, anxious, and scared, but then we are gracefully blessed by God’s promise that his love is true, unconditional, and eternal, as manifested in the Resurrection of Jesus.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

EUGENE Benedict, OMI
General Councillor for the Region of Asia Oceania