Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director, Sister Louise Hembrecht, congratulates Sister jubilarians professing vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for 25 and 50 years who celebrated on the Feast of Corpus Christi June 26, 2011. Click here for names of the Sister jubilarians.
The first reading for our Mass today from the book of Deuteronomy begins: “Remember how for forty years now, the Lord, your God has directed all your journeying…” To our Silver Jubilarian and our Golden Jubilarians we say: “Remember how for twenty-five years and for fifty years now the Lord, your God has directed all your journeying.” This is what this Jubilee day is about – remembering the tremendous goodness of God.
Remember how the Lord called you in your youth, remember how He nourishes you with His own Body and Blood, remember how He leads you in the events of every day life to a love response that is more than you could have imagined. All of this and more because He loves you.
It is so fitting that this day of Jubilee ends up to be celebrated on this feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This feast is an echo of Holy Thursday, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper at the beginning of the Easter Triduum. Today, however, the feast is situated in ordinary time, and like the Feast of the Ascension, has been transferred from Thursday to Sunday to emphasize its importance and to insure its celebration by more members of the Church.
As I reflected on the meaning of this day, in the lives of the Jubilarians and of the entire Community, it seems that Jubilee day and a celebration of the gift of the Eucharist go hand in hand.
For twenty-five and fifty years now, God has been nourishing these women consecrated to Him by the profession of the evangelical vows. With their lives centered on the Eucharist, He has fed them with His Body and Blood calling them daily to lives of contemplation and action. He has strengthened them and led them to service of the Church through this Community of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. St. Clare says: “Happy, indeed is she to who is given to share in this sacred banquet so that she might cling with all her heart to Him whose beauty all the blessed hosts of heaven unceasingly admire, whose affection excites whose contemplation refreshes, whose kindness fulfills.
First, just what is a jubilee? Is it simply a counting of years? Twenty-five or Fifty? In some ways it is that, but it is so much more. It is gratitude, reconciliation, and awareness of God’s love. Today we celebrate God’s action in the lives of our Jubilarians. God has taken ordinary women and refined them into His Silver and purified them into His Gold.