Life is a journey—a journey to live, love, enjoys and moves forward. The journey in each of us has a call, purpose, and object to being inspired, guiding us to go in the path we want to walk on and achieve it. All of us need to set up our journey no matter what as long as we walk on the path; He has set out for us. Along the way, there will undoubtedly be many challenges to come. The important thing is that we dare to get up after falling, or do we quickly falter because of small things? Also, are the little soldiers, we – novices of CMT, enthusiastically responded to the Lord’s call with a dream of being in the house of the Lord and to serve Him throughout our lives. Although we know that there are many demands that will come our way, we have been walking because of love, trust, and surrender to God and hope to stay strong forever.
“If you want to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” (Mk 8, 34). God’s words are still alive, still engraved in our minds as a source of inspiration for us to move forward. It is remembering that loving call, the first motivation that pushes us to continue amidst troubles and discouragement.
So, we must be more enthusiastic and carry the cross to be God’s disciples. Without the cross, we would not know where we are going and for whom. More significantly, we are children of the Carmelite family. Our identity must permanently attach to the cross. Indeed, it is our privilege to serve, to be religious and give all that we have for God and neighbor because what we have is from God, not our own. Talents, beauty, and intelligence, all of these are given to us. If God does not give to us, we are just an empty box. Nevertheless, we are just instruments of Him to use them for others.
With the journey that we are on, we are happy because we have the object of our hearts. God is the joy that comforts, consoles us always. The CMT, deepened with the charism of Fr. Palau transmitted to us, we enjoy our mission and bring God in every facet of life. But in a way, we sometimes talk in books and repeat words and knowledge from above without reflecting on it. That’s it! Follow Him, stay with Him, live with Him through the community, but we did not realize, dare define our own experiences or talk about Jesus. And today, amidst the surrounding storms, the Covid-19 pandemic, God came and approached each of us and asked: “But you, who do you say that I am?”
Peter and the disciples had seen the Lord, the living One, and they understood that whoever follows him will not perish forever. They have dared to exchange this life for eternal happiness in the next life. They have dared to give up the glory and riches of this life to receive the glory of tomorrow. And we can, like Peter, have answered his question correctly with all our knowledge of Scripture and theology, and of our doctrine: “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God”. But what about in action? Is it true that in our actions, we are the ones who prevent the implementation of God’s redemptive plan by refusing to suffer, rejecting the cross that we encounter in our daily lives? With our limited capacity and our weakness, we often stop at the confession or just on the lips. The distance from the mouth to the hand is far. It is easy to say that we love God and believe in God, but it is not easy to practice the word of love. Therefore, to answer Him with our understanding and faith, we must clearly show it through how we live and treat people every day. And add to it the good virtues that we also learned from the saints and people around us.
Eternal God, our Father, may our hearts always turn to Christ so that when we are determined to be His disciples as the essential thing in life and serve our brothers and sisters with charity, we dedicate ourselves entirely to God. We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Novices, Queen of Carmel Community,