In the book of Isaiah, it stands written that, the mission of the Prophet whom the Lord has sent among other things is to proclaim the Year of favour from Yahweh. (Is.61; 2) The Church invites her Faithful each year to reflect on a given topic that can build their faith, for example last year, Christians were invited to reflect on Faith. This year the church invites us to reflect on the family. It means that a year well spent on reflection, is a year of grace and favour.
So to us Consolata missionaries, this is a year of favour to us as we are invited to reflect about our Founder Joseph Allamano. It is not just a simple reflection, but it is an invitation to come into contact with him at personal level and at community level. It is the year that we are called to know him, right from his sun rise and his sun set.
It is during this year that, we should come to reflect and meditate upon what the Founder wants us to be, generous, firm and constant. (Sl 54) .It is the year that we should master the spirituality of the Founder as he teaches us. During this year, we should constantly strive to be Allamano like. His teachings should generously flow from our lips, keeping them in our hearts and bearing them in our minds.
This is the year when as congregation, we should stop and ask ourselves whether the society is doing what the Founder had in mind at the time of foundation. It is the opportune moment for each missionary to ask himself or herself whether he or she is doing well in the place of apostolate. This in fact is the year of work and sacrifice! Let us make the words of St. Paul our own: I do everything for the Gospel, and to us, each one should say ,I do everything for my congregation. (1Cor 9;23). We must work and work during this year hoping to have time enough to rest with the founder in Heaven.
It is during this year that we should imagine what the Founder would say about the congregation and its work should he come back to us again. During this year, each missionary should pose as many times as possible and ask whether the Founder would tell him or her these words of hope from the parable of the talents, ............’’well done ,good and trustworthy servant, you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.(Mt.25;21—22) .It is this year ,as we reflect on the Founder that, our souls should burn within us longing to hear these beautiful words of hope and encouragement from him, should he speak to each one of us.
During this year, each missionary should take it as a holy duty to renew the commitment that he or she took, in the name of the church. It is during this year that the words of the Founder, first saints the missionaries, should be a pillar on which we stand, a pivot point on which we rotate. It is during this year that all of us as Consolata missionaries should read the writings of the Founder and learn of them by our selves, not only hearing some of his beautiful words mentioned here and there by those who have read them. We should all strive to know about him from the smallest to the greatest. This is a favourable year also to pray unceasingly so that all of us can get the spit of the founder in what we do and say.
It is during this year that all of us regardless of age, should strive to belong to the ‘’third class ‘of those who don’t refuse any means for becoming saints (Sl. 94). It is during this year that we should not admit delay, but we should struggle without ceasing to do good, well and without noise. To achieve this, we really need to be extraordinary in the ordinary. (Così 41)
As we reflect about the founder, we should also follow and obey his teachings, always and everywhere. It is during this year of favour that all of us should learn even more to obey the constitutions accepting them as coming from God through the hands of the Founder. We should therefore study and reflect on every word they contain, and should they by any means get lost at the end of this year, then each of us should be a living and permanent copy of them. (Const: page 142) .To do this during this year is Golden.
Let us reflect well on the Founder, remembering the great challenges he met as he strove to found our Congregation. Let us bear patiently all the challenges we meet in our daily lives as missionaries, taking the words of the scriptures as our source of hope and encouragement; ‘The temporary, light burden of our hardships is earning us forever an utterly incomparable, eternal weight of Glory, since what we aim for is not visible. Visible things are transitory, but invisible things are eternal’’. (2nd Cor;4;17-18)