DE – Reflexion (pdf 26 KB)

EN – Reflection (pdf 24 KB)

ES – Reflexión  (pdf 56 KB)

HU – Gondolatok  (pdf 60 KB)

JP – 省察 (pdf 24 KB)

PL – Refleksja (pdf  77 KB)

PT – Reflexão (pdf 55 KB)

Installation liturgy January 20, 2024


Schwester M. Dominica Michalke, General Superior

Dear Sisters and friends here in the chapel in Rome,

dear Sisters and friends connected with us via livestream wherever you are,

Do you wonder? A Christmas Gospel on the day of installation? The reason is that after our election, the Sisters of the General Chapter compared each of us with a star and prayed for blessings: the pole star, the star of Bethlehem, the star of Abraham, the star of Jacob, and the morning star.

Because the symbol of stars was given to us, we chose this Gospel where the magi follow the star they had observed. Stars trigger our longing for eternity, for infinity of space and time. This longing led the magi to action, they left their homes, they joined together and searched the way. Our Call of the 25th General Chapter quotes You Are Sent: “longing for oneness” – a star that calls each of us to discover the way God wants to lead us.

The light of the stars we see today is thousands of years old – we even measure the distance of a star in light years. Most stars we cannot see with our naked eyes and most stars we see we don’t know. We can identify some and may know some constellations like the Great Bear or Cassiopeia. Likewise we may not understand every detail of God’s call in our lives, only stand in awe and be overwhelmed by the night sky, by the many stars God sets in the lives of each of us.

In the Gospel, the wise men did not only see the stars and the unique constellation happening three times. They did not only admire the beauty or wondered about the event but understood the message. They were called and they followed the call – this is why they were wise. How often do we sit back and are content with what is or what we see? Are we also open for the message, for the call of what we perceive? Only then can we become prophetic witnesses to the loving God. We need to move, maybe with little steps, maybe just inside ourselves to discover new horizons and be transformed by the loving God who calls us – every day anew. We want to find God’s will for our life, day by day, not always with a big step as it is the beginning of a new ministry. Mostly, it will be included in the daily routine or in a surprise that comes this particular day. Are we open to follow the star that has arisen for each of us – as Mother Theresia invites us in one of her letters?

The great German theologian Karl Rahner wrote about this passage of the Gospel: “The magi followed the star, and while their feet were walking towards Bethlehem, their hearts were on a pilgrimage to God.” We need to do the steps – and we need to nourish the longing in our hearts to search beyond, to find the greater truth in what we are doing. We want to be faithful in our daily routines – and we want to be open to find God’s message speaking in daily life.

The magi followed the star and were happy when they saw it. They must have walked during the day without the star visible, only at night they could see it again. There are times on our way of life when we do not see the star clearly, when we have to walk trusting that this is the right direction. But when we pause and allow the darkness to reveal the star we can be confirmed that we are on the right way. Our Call of the 25th General Chapter calls us to dare some new steps and to continue with familiar steps. Both will lead us into the future under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We may miss the light of the star for a while, we may doubt, we may be disappointed, but we may never stop searching the next step and looking for the star. We shall stand and see the horizon and know that behind this horizon there are new horizons we do not yet know. With each step toward the horizon it will change and invite us to continue our way.

The magi met on the way and walked together. We have joined a community and professed our vows in community. No one has to find the way alone. This knowledge of communion across the world, united as sisters globally, may support us in our service no matter what we are doing. The important question is how we are doing what we are doing. Is there the fire of love burning in our hearts? Is there the energy of our first commitment purified by the years and matured by the many experiences we made on our way? Let us share these treasures with one another and with others as the magi did: they brought their treasures to the child.

And they continued to listen to the voice of God. They were told to return on another way home. They may not have understood why, but they went. They listened to God’s will.

The end of the Prologue of You Are Sent clearly invites each of us to also do God’s will:

EN          Do whatever God tells you.

DE          Was Er euch sagt, das tut.

PO          Zrobcie wszystko, cokolwiek wam powie

ES           Haz lo que Dios te diga

PT           Fazei o que Ele vos disser.

HU          Amit mond, tegyétek.

JP            何でもこの人の言うとおりにして下さい。

IT            Fate tutto ciò che Dio vi dice.