Final "Yes" to Jesus Master
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord; His love is everlasting”
We echo our praise and thanksgiving to God who alone is the source and purpose of our existence. Indeed, it is He, who in his great love and mercy, enabled us to utter our assent to Him through our Perpetual Profession of Vows last April 23, 2017 before His faithful in the Most Holy Redeemer Parish at Brixton Hills, Quezon City.
The Eucharistic Celebration with the Rite of Religious Profession graced with the presence of our families and friends, was presided by Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao. Together with the concelebrating priests and with the whole Church, we celebrated the Eucharist as our great act of thanksgiving for the gift of God’s love revealed through our Pauline-PDDM vocation. We also thank God for the gift of persons especially Sr. M. Regina Cesarato, our Superior General, Sr. M. Gemma Victorino, our Provincial Superior who manifest His goodness and mercy that keeps us faithful in responding to his invitation to “remain in his love” so as to bear fruit in our life and mission as Disciples of the Divine Master.
The Eucharist was then followed by a banquet where the guests invited shared with us a meal of thanksgiving.
With the prayers of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, of St. Paul the Apostle and of our Sisters, we strain forward in faith trusting that God will fulfill the design he has set for us for His greater glory and sanctification of all.
-Sr. Maria Janice Golez, PDDM
Homily delivered by Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD on the occasion of the Perpetual Profession of Sr. Mylene Bonga Ballan, PDDM and Sr. Maria Janice Dacayo Golez, PDDM on April 23, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. at the Holy Redeemer Parish, Brixton Hills, Araneta Ave., Q.C.
The theme of our celebration is from Psalm 118:1, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever.”
Sr. Mylene and Sr. Maria Janice, today as you make your Perpetual Profession, the Lord confirms again your call. Times flied. It was on June 24, 2006 that you entered and embraced the religious life. God has called you from your mother’s womb because the Lord loves you.
In the first reading, we heard how the early Christians were devoted to the teachings of the Apostles and to communal life, prayer and the Eucharist. Because of their witnessing many people were converted and joined them.
Growth in faith and especially in our vocation is a road that each of us has to walk on his or her own. But we do not have to walk alone. The Lord is always at our side.
In the second reading, St. Peter tells us that because of God’s mercy, a living hope is born through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a hope to an inheritance that is imperishable and unfading. And yet faith is to be purified by suffering and trials so that we may love Him though we have not seen Him, believe in Him though we do not see Him so that we may attain salvation, the goal of faith.
In the gospel, we are reminded that like Thomas we are always recipient of God’s mercy. And we experience this in many ways. When we go to confession we know it is Jesus who is waiting for us/ He is hidden by the priest and yet He acts in our soul. In confession, the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. When we spend time before the Blessed Sacrament, it is Jesus whom we encounter. We enter into a vital relationship with Jesus, the chaste, the poor and the obedient. In the process we become apostles of the Eucharist. The greater challenge is not just to receive His mercy but to share His mercy with others. We meet Jesus in those who are materially and spiritually poor. We are meant to be source of mercy to others. “Be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful! Jesus told St. Faustina, “I demand from you deeds of mercy... you are to show deeds of mercy to your neighbors, always and everywhere.”
Yes, Sr. Mylene and Sr. Maria Janice, you are asked to participate in the mission of the ordained ministers in the spirit of Mary most holy.
If there is something that has kept Sr. Mylene and Sr. Maria Janice in responding generously to their call as religious all these eleven years is the experience of God’s mercy and conviction that they are God’s beloved. God has always been faithful to them in their journey.
Sr. Mylene and Sr. Maria Janice, through your prayer life and the sacraments, you have come to know the Lord as Someone who will always be there to you especially in the midst of difficulties and trials. The Lord will always be faithful as he has promised. You have realized in your life that God brings out the best in you because God’s love is unique, immense and it is only God who can fill up the emptiness you experienced before entering religious life.
Yet one cannot love someone who you do not know. Through your years of formation you have come to know Jesus, Jesus who is the joy of your life.
Knowing Jesus makes you see everything in the proper perspective. Discovering Christ is what matters. It is the power of His love expressed through His faithfulness. Indeed you are precious to Him and so do not be afraid. You are meant to give Him glory. You are called to sacrifice your own will and desire for the glorification of God and salvation of souls.
Dear Sr. Mylene and Sr. Maria Janice, you have discovered the beauty of God’s kingdom in His call. Though you know there are many challenging moments and difficulties in carrying out your mission, the joy of working and living for Christ outweighs them. The fulfillment of carrying out your mission is living and giving Jesus Master to the world, a life of prayer and intercession for all of humanity is your call. The happiness in living in a community of love and service, the charity you share with each other, the consolation of being with God and seeing others with the eyes of Jesus, all these experiences have kept you in your commitment.
Today, you will solemnly profess. That is a mark of maturity in your vocation. But do remember: As a branch cannot bear fruit detached from the vine, you too can do nothing without remaining in Him. With Him your life will bear much fruit. Jesus loves you with the love that He receives from the Father. The challenge is to remain in His love and the purpose of remaining in His love is to experience and possess the joy He has, the joy of being united with the Father. The world will tempt you with many things – the passing joys of this world, yet today, the Lord tells you that your joy will be complete by remaining in His love. The love that you enjoy in being united with the Lord will be the same love you will share with others. Indeed this is truly amazing! God will be loving others through you, with you and in you.
Dear friends, as Sr. Mylene and Sr. Maria Janice make their perpetual profession, let us pray for them that they may continue to be the precious possession of the Lord, living in the company of a nurturing God, a God who is always present in our lives making us realize that our home is in Him who has called us to our vocation. Jesus, I trust in you!