• August 11, 2009

Going to love and to be loved

This homily of Rev. Thierry de Roucy was held during a Sending Forth Mass of mis­sion­aries in Ourscamp, (France) on September 13, 1992.

Dear brothers and sis­ters,

How beau­tiful to see this morning this true “apos­tolic pro­ces­sion” gath­ered around the altar and sur­rounded with you all, par­ents and friends. Among those apos­tles, some are coming from the North of France and from Brittany, from Alsace and the South, some from Anjou and Picardie, they are coming from all sides! And one can wonder: why are these people gath­ered together today whereas a year ago they didn’t know each other and didn’t know any­thing about us?

The answer is very simple. Each of them, one in his stu­dent life, one as a librarian or as a sec­re­tary, one as reli­gious or as priest, has lis­tened to the same word of Jesus;”Go!” Go fur­ther! Go out of your town or your vil­lage, your library or your office! Go and bear fruit! Thus what made us become quickly but in a deep way a small family has nothing to do with a search for the exotic, a desire to flee, the dis­gust for a given sit­u­a­tion, but is the word of Jesus... it is His call...

“Go!” But go where? Go to do what? The new name of the ones who are going answers these ques­tions. They are going to be mis­sion­aries. And this in the deepest sense of the word! They are going to love and to be loved. They are going to be loved by God and to love Him. They are going to live in com­mu­nion with His Heart. This is some­thing very obvious in all the let­ters the mis­sion­aries have written to me when they ask to commit with the Organization. And if only you knew how much I am delighted with it!...They are all longing for com­mu­nion with God, for prayer, for dis­cov­ering His love in con­tem­plating His Word... All are willing to see Jesus and to learn from His way to love how they are them­selves called to be loved by Him.

As Jesus was sent by the Father; so they are sent. Jesus shared an inti­mate life with His Mother; they want Her to edu­cate them, to learn from Her. Jesus has been working dis­creetly in the humble vil­lage of Nazareth; they want to go without any adver­tise­ment to share the very simple life of the people in the neigh­bor­hood. Jesus with­drew to pray to His father for a long time: it is vital for them to take long times of retreat and ado­ra­tion. Jesus lis­tened to the cry of the blind, he bended over the leper, he trusted Martha and Mary: The mis­sion­aries want to listen to, to look at, and to trust. Jesus washed the apos­tles’ feet: the mis­sion­aries see their mis­sion as a con­stant washing of feet. Jesus gave Himself to eat, He under­went agony, He endured slander, He laid down His life: the mis­sion­aries know that sac­ri­fice will be part of their life, because they too want to com­plete their mis­sion...

But beyond iden­ti­fying with Jesus’ actions, we are first looking to iden­tify with Jesus’ being, with his very person. This is what the greatest friend­ship con­sists of. This is, at its deepest source, what moves you: nothing else but Him, Jesus. It is His heart which loved the world so much, which loves me, which gives me life, which heals me and which saves me.

The moti­va­tion which has inspired you to go is to be found in the encounter you have made with the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, with His loving Father, with the Consoling Spirit. And what will help each of you to be faithful to his mis­sion is the growth of this love of friend­ship between God and you who are going and which started the day of your bap­tism. It is the divine love each of us expe­ri­ences in him­self, it is the tremen­dous faith God has in us, it is his exis­tence which causes such a great joy for God, it is the everyday gift of life which will enable each of the mis­sion­aries to go out and always go deeper to reach the most iso­lated house, the most aban­doned heart, to pro­claim some­thing of the Beatitudes. Therefore, the mis­sion of the mis­sion­aries, as in any other mis­sion, is part of the redeeming incar­na­tion.

A friend­ship with God. A friend­ship with the closest one. “This is how all will know that you are my dis­ci­ples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13: 35). In any Christian com­mu­nity, in the Church, there is no better way to preach than to preach about love. Anything else can be seen as a betrayal. Any other preaching is empty in words and fruit­less.

You will hear the fol­lowing state­ment in a few min­utes: “You mis­sion­aries are going to live in com­mu­nity. It will be for you a strength and a con­so­la­tion, at some days a test.” The com­mu­nity life is the biggest joy, but it is a joy which can find its root in the biggest suf­fering. It is the place God uses to forge our heart, to cleanse it, to shape it. He was made of rock. Through the simple everyday life he becomes of flesh. Saint John Vianney used to say:”It liq­ue­fies itself” I would like to say it becomes tears of com­pas­sion and of blood. It is the most beau­tiful mate­rial a heart can be made of since it was from Jesus’ own heart that water and blood flowed out.

We empha­size enough that Heart’s Home is about com­pas­sion and com­forting. Do not get it wrong dear Friends! Compassion starts at home, in your inner being. You are first the beaten victim whom the Good Samaritan is leaning and at the same time you are the Good Samaritan. Thus com­pas­sion exer­cises itself towards the ones with who you are going to live this year; they too are sin­ners and hurt. Only your love will help them to go fur­ther. There is no use for end­less dis­cus­sions in attempts to dis­cover how suf­fering dis­turbs another’s psy­chology or how best to dis­mantle the minds mech­a­nisms so that can be “made more aware of him­self” You’d better listen to him!... You better go and offer your brother to God!... There is no use to pre­tend he is a lamb when he is a hedgehog. Love him as he is! Love him as God loves him: uncon­di­tion­ally, lim­it­less. Love him because God gives him to you as a grace of His pres­ence! Go straight into his heart; don’t stay at the out­skirts, at the sur­round­ings, at the small mat­ters which bother you, at the sto­ries he is telling, always the same ones, at his odd habits... Dear Friends if only you knew how much God loves you, if you only knew the love you are called to share together...

At last, you are called to be Friends of Children. Theses people whose faces you have already dis­cov­ered on the pic­tures, you are called to become their friends. It will no longer be “they”; it will be Paolo, Pedro, Ramesh, Josefina...They will no longer be “little poor people” to whom you will bring coffee or pasta, but they are the ones with whom you are called to share your life... They will no longer be lepers, per­sons affected with scabs, TB patients, they will be your friends and your greatest desire will be for you to take on their leprosy, their scabs, their tuber­cu­losis; and one day you will find out that it was really you who was afflicted with their dis­eases and that you were healed by them before you could begin to release their suf­fering. They will no longer be mur­derers, pros­ti­tutes, social mis­fits. They will be your friends.

They have nei­ther gold nor money, nor a high level of edu­ca­tion, but what they have they will give it to you. It is their trea­sure. It is their heart. And they will demand that you give up your heart. They will demand that you live what is essen­tial. That is why, without a fridge and without a video recorder, you might soon expe­ri­ence the greatest joy of your life and you will make Jesus’ prayer your own: “I give praise to you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the child­like.” (Mt 11: 25) Staying among our friends will deeply change your life. One cannot come out of Heart’s Home unharmed because one cannot come out of any love story unharmed. But you will come out enriched as well as the Church and the whole humanity.

Dear Friends of Children, your par­ents have come in great num­bers and your friends as well. Their pres­ence means they are entering with you in this adven­ture, in this pas­sion. Maybe they cannot express it to you with these words but I am sure their pres­ence means the fol­lowing: “You know I am entering with you in this mys­tery, in this Organization. You are called to go. We allow our­selves to be moved by this call. With you I want Love to be loved. I will help you. I will be at your side so that with every person you encounter, we will be there too. I know that from now on the tes­ti­mony of your life will be more than ever the tes­ti­mony of your friend­ships. I accept it. Moreover I rejoice about it and I thank you.” I would also like to thank you, par­ents and friends, for being here today. In a mys­te­rious way you will be with each of your chil­dren, of your brothers or sis­ters, of your friends, in Bucharest or Bangkok, in Bethlehem or Lima, in Santa Fe or Salvador. I thank you for building up our Heart’s Home family which is called to be a big heart reducing hate and bringing forth ten­der­ness.

We have chosen September the 13th to have our sending mass in mis­sion just because it is the Sunday which is the closest to September the 15th; the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows which is the patronal feast of the Organization. This means that this feast is among all the other litur­gical feasts the one that tells us most about our voca­tion. If one does not under­stand what Heart’s Home is about, one has to look at Mary standing at the Crucified. And dear Friends of Children if you want day after day to go deeper in the meaning of your mis­sion, Golgotha is the place you have always to come back to. You will find out that the place where you are called to live is nei­ther Ourscamp, nor Bangkok, nor Saigon, but it is in Mary’s heart, Mother of com­pas­sion. This is the place where we can all meet, always. This is the place where we never leave. And we are all called to live with this heart the closest, the most fruitful wed­ding we could ever think of: that is the mys­te­rious wed­ding between Mary’s heart and the Heart of Him who was cru­ci­fied, with the heart of all those who have been cru­ci­fied in the world. How great this is!

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