“Be configured to Christ,” bishop tells seminarians, sisters
CAVITE (21 Oct 2016) – “Be configured, conformed to Christ,” bishop tells seminarians and sisters during the Culminating Activity of Postulants held in Tagaytay City.
Gathered at the SVD Holy Spirit Chapel of about 200 postulants coming from different religious congregations, Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D., Bishop of Imus, encouraged the seminarians and sisters about their vocation to pattern their lives after Christ. The Mass was held on the 4th day of the Culminating Activity of SINAI in Tagaytay City.
Before the last day, the Postulants also celebrated daily Masses, opened their Sportsfest and Palarong Pinoy activities, and a short recollection to cap and integrate all of the learnings they had in their past modular classes. The span of the modular classes took about 6 months, most of which are about vocation discernment, human and values development, and self-discovery.
Vocation to love
Bishop Evangelista began his homily by affirming what Pope Francis emphasized in his book The Name of God is Mercy. “The Face of God is Christ, and God’s Name is Mercy”, the Bishop added.
Throughout his homily, the 56-year old Bishop of Imus expounded on the theme of the Culminating Activity of the Postulants: “Conformed to the Face of Mercy in Joyful Sharing of Love with all Humanity.”
“If you go to the apostolate with a long face and a heavy heart, do not go… better go back,” Evangelista said. “Our vocation is to love, and we have to joyfully bring Christ to others, especially to the poor.”
Drawing rich sources from John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis and the Vatican II document on the Church Lumen Gentium, the Imus Prelate reminded the formands about their vocation to the fullness of Christ’s love. “Your vocation is God’s initiative, first of all, not on the human level”, he added.
Reminded by the analogy of the Manila’s Archbishop-Emeritus Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Evangelista showed the analogy of being conformed to Christ by joining two hands. On one palm represents our lives, and the other palm represents Christ. To be conformed and configured to Christ is like the palms of our hands facing at each other, as if in a prayer posture.
The Bishop even gave a light moment to the Postulants when he quipped that the two aforesaid documents are as enough as his homily.
The Prelate concluded his homily by invoking the help of Mary, Mother of Mercy.