On February 2, Pope Francis celebrated the the 26th World Day for Consecrated Life on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Preaching on the Gospel passage of the day (Lk 2:22-40), Pope Francis asked religious to consider three questions: What moves us? What do our eyes see? Who do we take in our arms? In considering his own responses to these questions, the Pope encouraged religious to be hopeful in the midst of crises, to continue to be open, and to never become rigid:

Brothers and sisters, the Lord never fails to give us signs that invite us to cultivate a renewed vision of consecrated life. We need to do this, but in the light of the Holy Spirit and docile to his movements. We cannot pretend not to see these signs and go on as usual, doing the same old things, drifting back through inertia to the forms of the past, paralyzed by fear of change. I have said this over and over again: nowadays the temptation to go back, for security, out of fear, in order to preserve the faith or the charism of the founder… is a temptation. The temptation to go back and preserve “traditions” with rigidity. Let’s get this into our head: rigidity is a perversion, and beneath every form of rigidity there are grave problems. Neither Simeon or Anna were rigid; no, they were free and had the joy of celebrating: Simeon by praising the Lord and prophesying with courage to the child’s mother.

Read his whole homily.

Don’t forget a Christological examination of the Feast of the Presentation is available in the first print issue of Review for Religious. Fr. Kevin Grove, CSC, examines the teaching of the Popes from the World Days for Consecrated Life and finds new Christological themes of importance for religious life. Click here to see the Table of Contents for that issue, or click here for subscription information.

Watch the Mass for the Feast of the Presentation at St. Peter’s Basilica via the Vatican Communications YouTube Channel: