A Sign That Will Be Contradicted

Today is the World Day for Consecrated Life, a day established by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1997 in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple, to honor and pray for all those who have consecrated themselves to God in the Church (nuns, sisters, brothers, religious priests, consecrated virgins, members of secular institutes, etc. etc.).

May all consecrated people be faithful to their prophetic vocation of service in the Church!


We have just heard the elderly Simeon’s words: Christ “is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted… so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34). Like him, and to the extent that they are conformed to him, consecrated persons also become a “sign of contradiction“; that is, they become for others a salutary encouragement to take a position regarding Jesus. And thanks to the engaging mediation of the [consecrated] “witness”, Christ does not remain simply a historical figure or an abstract ideal, but presents himself as a living person to follow without compromise. Does this not seem to you an indispensable service that the Church expects of you in this era, marked by profound social and cultural changes? Only if you persevere in faithfully following Christ will you be credible witnesses of his love.

– Blessed Pope John Paul II, 2001 [source – translation corrected for clarity]

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