Homily for Passionist Perpetual Profession
I got this post ready to share with you several weeks ago and then forgot to post it. (Uh-oh)
The following are excerpts from the homily preached on the occasion of Sister Mary Andrea's Perpetual Profession given by Father Brandon Williams.
Fr. Brandon elevates the Book of the Gospels
With hearts of gratitude we gather together this afternoon in the presence of Our Lord and this Passionist community as family and friends to witness a beautiful wedding ceremony. Sr. Mary Andrea of the Incarnate Word, today is a special day for you and the Church universal, a day that you and Christ have been waiting for a long time. Today, you are espoused to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for all eternity. Today he takes possession of your heart and soul, your very life, united to Him in love and sacrifice. God desired this from the very beginning, and today His Will is fulfilled. How blessed we are to proclaim with joyful hearts “Thanks be to God!” [...]
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit one on one with Sr. Mary Andrea here at the monastery. I was, and continue to be, honored that she requested that I preach today at her final vows. I wanted to know more about her, how she experienced God working in her life, and how she made her way from southern Indiana across the river to the true Holy Land of Kentucky to this Passionist monastery. Let me say, Sr. Mary Andrea, you really did choose the better part!!! [...] (Editors Note: Now you see what us 3 sisters from Indiana have to put up with!)
Sr. Mary Andrea, Christ made Flesh in the Eucharist became the source and summit of your life as you began to attend daily Mass on a regular basis, and as you grew in love with Him, your heart was moved to explore the Passionist nuns. You told me that you had a great respect for the Passionist way of life, united with the sufferings of Christ crucified, dwelling among us in the Holy Eucharist, the Word Incarnate.
And here we are today, gathered around you in this beautiful monastery, this your permanent home during your stay here on Earth, a place where you find true belonging, true acceptance, united with your fellow sisters in the love and mercy of Christ. It is here that you live a faithful life of solitude and service for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls scattered all around the world. As Sr. Mary Andrea of the Incarnate Word, you will make Christ’s presence known to all people who come seeking God in this holy place. We know there are many lost and broken souls in the world, yearning for acceptance and belonging, to be loved and nurtured, to be healed and made whole again in the love of Christ. Your life of dedicated service and sacrifice will touch countless hearts, and following in the footsteps of your patron Saint Andrew, you too will help people to see Jesus.
The Offertory Procession: We are all called to live an "attitude of offertory", offering our lives as a holy sacrifice to God.
I know that I speak for all of us when I say “Thank you” for answering God’s call in your life and helping all of us to see Christ and to know, love and serve him with grateful hearts. To you and all the sisters here at St Joseph’s monastery we are truly blessed that you are a part of our lives. Your prayer and work which you faithfully carry out here each and every day does not go unnoticed. What a blessing and comfort it is to know that while all of us are out there working and ministering out in the world, we have you here to remember us and lift us up in prayer to God that we too may be faithful servants in our calls in life. Through your prayers and intercession, we too help people to see Christ.
Sr. Mary Andrea, as you begin your new life in Christ and are entrusted by God for the care and salvation of souls, I invite you to ponder the words of Saint Paul of the Cross and we pray that you may have the grace to bring his holy words of wisdom to fruitful completion:
Live in such a way that all may know that you bear outwardly, as well as inwardly, the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy. For if you are united inwardly with the Son of the living God, you also bear His likeness outwardly by your continual practice of heroic goodness, and especially through a patience reinforced by courage, which does not complain either secretly or in public. Conceal yourself in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all people be thoroughly converted to His will.