The Prophet Jeremiah as the model of our vocation
The Sisters of Calvary had the privilege of making an enriching annual retreat in Moreneng, Kgale from the 21st – 28th August 2022. The spiritual retreat was animated by Rev. Fr. Deusdedit Patrick Kumbani C.P, Vice Provincial of MATAF, who centered the retreat on the Prophet Jeremiah as the model of our vocation. In the evening of his introduction to the retreat, Fr Kumbani C.P reminded the Sisters that “a retreat is a time to step out of the busy-ness of ordinary life to encounter the love, peace, and mercy of Jesus in a new way. During these graceful days of our retreat I wish to invite you my dear sisters to speak to the Lord just like the prophet Jeremiah who made conversations with the Lord throughout his earthly life.” Moreover the retreat being a time for silent prayer, Eucharistic adoration, Holy Mass and gave opportunities for confession and inner healing, the sisters embarked into the mood of making conversations with the Lord.
The entire retreat revolved around the vocation of Jeremiah linking it to each Sister’s own vocations. The intensive days spent with Jesus gave all the participants an experience of walking down the dark corridors of their inner world; searching the hidden corners that have remained unexplored in our subconsciousness; tracing our path along the slippery slopes of uncertainties, and exposing the areas of our intimate being to the Word of God and his mission. Just like in the situation of Jeremiah also felt the power and grace of God in his life: “before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jer 1: 5). The life of Jeremiah from on set portrays him as a courageous and persistent prophet who often had to endure physical suffering for his fidelity to the prophetic call. He also suffered inner doubts and conflicts, as his own words reveal, especially those passages that are usually called his “confessions” (Jeremiah 11:18–12:6; 15:10–21; 17:9–10, 14–18; 18:18–23; 20:7–12, 14–18). They reveal a strong conflict between Jeremiah’s natural inclinations and his deep sense of vocation to deliver God’s message to the people. Jeremiah could even describe his vocation in ecstatic terms: “When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart” (15:16). Religious life today often has been delineated as prophetic to carry out the mission of God. Sisters were encouraged to allow God to manifest his gifts and talents thus open to the promptings of the Spirit so as to share their talents with others. We are therefore called to leave behind “normal” family life and cultural norms (success, wealth, power, individualism, etc.) to become part of a communal witness to God’s kingdom. Jeremiah reminds us that, despite our own weaknesses and mortality, we too are sometimes called to do what seems difficult and even impossible. We are asked to do this even when we do not feel that we are worthy or capable. Obviously God did not choose the strongest, holiest or most ideal person in Israel to prophesy. God chose Jeremiah for this task for some inscrutable reason.
The retreat ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on 28th August 2022 morning and during the Holy Mass the Sisters renewed their Vows.