Be bridge builders of peace and hope....This was the homily of Fr. Ray Husband during the contract signing of Gilda, Michael and Lorna on April 30, 2015..
Gilda, Lorna and Michael, this afternoon we join with you, your families and friends, to witness the formal signing of your contracts as Columban Lay Missionaries. For the last year each of you have prepared for this day and now it has arrived. I am delighted to be here with you to share this important event in your lives. I thank God for each of you for the gift that you are to the Columban Lay Mission Program and to the Missionary Society of St. Columban. Today signifies your response to God who has called you and is the source of all life.
Our documents, those pertaining to Lay Mission and to the Society as a whole state clearly what is expected of you and how you are to live out Mission as CLMs. It is in and through partnership as Called to Mission states “partnership for mission reflects the life of the Trinity as community of Persons reaching out in love for the life of the world.” Through your commitment today you are saying yes to Christ who has called you, yes to mission, and yes to partnership as lived out by the Columbans. It is good to remember that is Christ who has called you and has brought you to this day. He is always by your side, and will never abandon you, so always place your trust in Him. I believe the essence of who you are and what you are called to be or expressed beautifully in the Prayer of Blessings from today’s ceremony. You are messengers of salvation and peace, marked with the sign of the cross. This means you are entrusted with the task of witnessing to the love that God has for the world, for humanity, especially for the poor, the broken and those whose dignity is denied. You are called to mission not from a position of power or arrogance but from weakness and like Christ you are to be wounded healers. To this mission you bring your own individual gifts and talents as well as your brokenness.
Gilda, Lorna and Michael as you begin this great journey that will take you to Chile, a new land, people and culture never lose sight of the beauty which lives within you as Filipinos. Be bridge builders of peace and hope; embrace the beauty of your new culture while never losing sight of your own. Jesus was sent by the Father and Jesus in turn is now sending you on mission. As Columban priests, sisters or LMs, it is through solidarity with the poor that we are called to live out our mission.
The great Peruvian theologian Gustavo Gutierrez captures this beautifully when he wrote; today it is solidarity with people excluded by the present economic system and driven into worst poverty, solidarity with those who encounter closed doors and hearts because of their social insignificance. Never forget that it is with the poor, the broken and the hopeless that you are called to share your lives. Gilda, Lorna, and Michael as you leave the Philippines for Chile know that the Risen Christ is with you. May his peace fill your hearts today and always. Know also that you have the prayers and good wishes of all of us here today. Congratulations and may God bless you always.
Click here to see pictures from the mission sending ceremony.