More reflection from ‘Vita Consecrata’ for Pope Francis year devoted to the Consecrated Life ‘Soul Institute’ Consecrated like Christ for the Kingdom of God

John Paul II in ‘Vita Consecrata’ writes, ” The consecrated life, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, ‘constitutes a closer imitation and an abiding reenactment in the Church’ of the way of life which Jesus, the supreme consecrated one and missionary of the Father for the sake of his Kingdom, embraced and proposed to his disciples. (Mt 4:4 18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:10-11; Jn 15;16) In the light of Jesus’ consecration, we see in the initiative of the Father, the source of all holiness, the ultimate origin of the consecrated life. Jesus is the one whom ‘God anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power.’ (Acts 10:38) the one ‘whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world.’ (Jn 10:36) Accepting his consecration by the Father, the son in turn consecrates himself to the Father for the sake of humanity. (Jn 17:19) His life of virginity, obedience, and poverty expresses his complete filial acceptance of the Father’s plan. (Jn 10:30; 14;11) His perfect offering confers an aspect of consecration upon all the events of his earthly life.”(22)

The Holy Spirit anointed Jesus so that He became the perfect offering on the cross. When a man or woman is consecrated to God. The Holy Spirit fall upon them. Jesus offering of His Life was for the redemption of the world. A person is consecrated not for their own sake but in union with Jesus who offered His Life for the salvation of the world. In this way, a person consecration is connected to mission.

F.X. Durrwell in his book ‘In the Redeeming Christ’ writes, “Though he was consecrated from the beginning, he sought a more total consecration, a more complete union with God. He often repeated, ‘I go to my Father.’ Between him and the Father there was a distance (though not of a spatial kind) that must be overcome; he must return to his Father, not by a movement in space, but by a sanctification, by dying to this world of sin and rising in God. And in this Vade ad patrem, this personal sanctification of Christ, the redemption of mankind took place…He went to the Father. He did not die for the sake of dying, but in order to live to his Father. ‘I sanctify myself’ meant ‘I immolate myself’ but first of all, ‘I pass into the possession of God.’ His death was a gift of love bearing him outside himself and this world into the embrace of God. ‘I lay down my life that I may take it up again.’ said our Lord. (Jn 10:17) I die to rise again, not into a life of this world, that is immolated forever, but into the holiness of God: ‘His death was a death to sin once and for all his life is a life unto God.’ (Rom 6:10)…Christ is ‘sanctified’ forever; he is consecrated to God in his death to himself and in the life-giving holiness of the Father. The Epistle to the Hebrews describes at some length what happened in this sacrifice, comparing it with that offered by the Jewish high priest who, once a year, left the profane world, and taking with him the blood of goats and bulls, went through the veil of his own flesh (Heb 10:20) that is through his damaged body, and entered with his own blood not into an earthly sanctuary, but into the very bosom of God. (Heb 9:10-11) Christ will never leave behind that immolation and that new life; his existence is fixed forever at the moment of the Redemption. The five wounds he showed his disciples are not merely the receipt for that ransom inscribed upon his body, but the wounds of a death from which he will never recover. He did not rise to the life he had had before, to this world, to this time; in that space, he did not rise at all. He died once for all. The life of glory is a perpetuation of his death; the fire of the Spirit which consumes him keeps him as an eternal holocaust. The Lamb of God stands in glory and is surrounded by hymns of triumph, bu he is still slain. (Rv 5:6)

A consecrated man or woman life is in union and communion with Jesus death on the cross. That is why when a consecrated person dies for the faith. Their death is united to Jesus death on the cross for the salvation of the world.

At mass the priest prays these words, “Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.” When the priest pray these words at mass. He is also offering his body as a living sacrifice to God. That means the priest is called to daily and even hourly die to sin and live for God. Also when the people of God hear the priest praying these words. You are meant to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice to God. As one author said, place yourself with Christ on the patten.

Prayer for the day
Holy Spirit come down as fire upon me
Holy Spirit as you came down upon Jesus as fire upon the altar of the cross
So That Jesus was a perfect sacrifice to the Father
Holy Spirit fall upon me
Burn all my sins away so that I may offer my body, my life as a perfect sacrifice to the Father in union with Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit

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