Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Saturday 2 February 2019
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
Before our eyes is a simple, humble and great fact: Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem. He is a child like so many, like all, but he is unique: he is the Only Begotten who came for all. 
Simeon and Anna are the anticipation and the prophecy, Jesus is the novelty and the fulfillment: he is presented to us as the perennial surprise of God.
We can see in this the beginning of consecrated life. Consecrated men and women we are called first and foremost to be men and women of encounter. Indeed, the vocation does not originate from a plan we have designed “on the drawing board”, but from a grace of the Lord which touches us, through a life-changing encounter. 
Those who truly encounter Jesus cannot remain the same as before. He is the novelty that makes all things new. Those who experience this encounter become witnesses and make the encounter possible for others; they also promote the culture of encounter, avoiding the self-referentiality that makes us stay closed off within ourselves. 
The passage of the Letter to the Hebrews which we heard reminds us that in order to encounter us, Jesus did not hesitate to share our human condition, but wanted to share our life. Consecrated men and women we are called to be a tangible and prophetic sign of this closeness of God, of this sharing in the condition of frailty, of sin and of the wounds of today’s mankind.
Dear Sisters your form of consecrated life is called to be in a permanent state of mission, sharing. The Gospel also tells us that Joseph and Mary safeguard the astonishment over this encounter full of light and hope for all peoples. 
We too, as Christians and as consecrated people, are guardians of astonishment. An astonishment which requires ongoing renewal; woe to routine in spiritual life, to the crystallization of our charisms. 
Lastly, through the encounter with Jesus and through the gift of the vocation to consecrated life we learn from today’s celebration to experience gratitude. Thanking, giving thanks: the Eucharist. This is the word that can summarize all that we experience. 
May the Lord Jesus, through the maternal intercession of Mary, grow in us, and increase in each person the desire for encounter, the safekeeping of the astonishment and the joy of gratitude. Then others will be attracted by his light, and they will be able to encounter the Father’s mercy.