“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life”(Mt.19:29).
These words spoke to my heart when I first decided to follow Him. They spoke but they seemed so distant, not real. Nevertheless, I hoped in them and started a journey. Now, three years later and with tears of joy in my eyes, I can tell you the hundredfold is true and Jesus fulfills his promises.
It’s true that I left my family, friends and everything behind to follow Jesus’ invitation -and it was hard! But part of my hundredfold that Jesus has given me is my community in my consecrated life. This past week of my life shows a little bit how this goes.
I received the news that my grandma passed away. This was extremely hard for me because she was like a second mom for me. My community had so many details of love and sincere care for me. They lessened my pain by doing everything they could to soothe and help me carry the cross. They supported me and sustained me with their prayers. They listened, they asked, they cared. By being there for me, they were living the commandment of our Lord that invites us to “love one another as he has loved us”, they loved.
“What else do you need? What can I do for you?” many asked. “Know that I’m praying for you and your family” notes were left on my chapel pew. Many of my friends here had dinner with me and asked me all sort of questions about my grandma. They wanted me to share with them everything that I admired of her. What was she like? What am I grateful for to her? What memories do I have? Etc. The bottom line was that they wanted to show that they care. They wanted to be there for me in the good as in the bad times. Some of them stayed up late with me because I couldn’t go to bed. By being at my side in those hard moments, they wanted to be the face of Jesus for me and to be witnesses of His Love. So as you can see, friendships in Christ are an essential part in our consecrated life because it is one of the gifts that God wants to give us.
In other words, we are here in the same boat. We share the same vocation and mission. God has invited us to follow Him, to fall more in love with Him so that we can be his apostles and be able to transmit his love. God has placed us within a community in consecrated life so that we can grow and help each other to be closer to Him. Our community life is not just a support but a reality that helps us grow and flourish to become more Christ like.
It is so important in our community that we share the gifts that God gave and continually gives to each one .We share everything. We do not just pray together, we also play together, share and live together. The most amazing thing is that what unites us is Him. Our friendships are growing and are rooted in Him. He is the center and the reason why we are here. He has invited people with different personalities and nationalities to our community so that we can enrich each other, help each other to go higher and persevere in the following of Jesus and this call to holiness that we all share.
Jesus fulfills his promises and the hundredfold is true in my life; it is no longer just words that appeal to my heart but a deep experience of his fidelity and love. Through friendships in my consecrated life, I have been able to receive many gifts that God wants to give me as part of the hundredfold that he has promised, and still, we all are fighting to be with Him eternally!