There is an indescribable mercy in the gospel that opens the hearts of broken people and draws them into a life devoted to reflecting the relentless grace of the crucified Savior to a lost and weary world. It is a mystery that conquers the most hardened, sinful soul and lifts it up toward the heavens in worship and awe. It highlights the truth that every person become poor, chaste, and obedient to the call of Christ, and then step onto the dusty roads of this earth to reach the wounded, whose souls silently cry out for salvation.
Pope Francis, in his homily on the World Day of Consecrated Life on February 2, 2017, issued a call for those willing to surrender to the mission of the cross:
All of us are aware of the multicultural transformation we are experiencing; no one doubts this. Hence, it is all the more important for consecrated men and women to be one with Jesus, in their lives and in the midst of these great changes. Our mission—in accordance with each particular charism—reminds us that we are called to be a leaven in this dough….Putting Jesus in the midst of his people means having a contemplative heart, one capable of discerning how God is walking through the streets of our cities, our towns, and our neighborhoods. Putting Jesus in the midst of his people means taking up and carrying the crosses of our brothers and sisters. It means wanting to touch the wounds of Jesus in the wounds of a world in pain, which longs and cries out for healing.
How can those in consecrated life and all of us who are called to follow their godly examples dedicate ourselves more wholeheartedly to carrying the cross of Christ to others? The answer lies in the brokenness of the Savior who lives out perfectly what it means to be consecrated in love to the Father’s will. Let us examine Christ’s life to learn what it means to be broken bread and poured-out wine—to be spiritual nourishment for a world in need of new life…