Jesuit jubilee celebrations are a celebration of generosity

By Fr Martin Nyadewo SJ 

 

Jesuit jubilee celebrations are a celebration of generosity and self-giving in the Lord’s mission. The same holds true for this year’s celebration as we offer prayers of thanksgiving for the lives of our brothers: Fr Perreira Vitor Lamosa, Fr. Ferreira Manuel, Rt Rev. Scholz Dieter, Fr. Manyere Anesu, Fr. Morare Matsepane, Fr. Mardai Gilbert, Br. Kandawasvika Augustine, Fr. Zvarevashe Ignatius, Fr. Edwards Paul, Fr. MacGarry Brian, Fr. Austin Michael and Fr. Dryden David. These are men who have offered themselves for the greater glory of God.

 

Matthew 13:44-46 gives us the parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl, which exemplify the vocation of a Jesuit as we celebrate our brothers this year. 

 

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

 

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

 

The self-giving of a Jesuit is premised on the finding of ‘hidden treasure’ or the encounter with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is a personal and unique encounter with the Lord that enkindles a fire that sets a Jesuit on a mission of service and self-giving to the Lord through and with others. That is the fundamental part of what it means to be 'a man for others.' 

 

Such a vocation and life in itself becomes good news to the people of God and a sign of hope for many. It is a life that moves us closer to the heart of the Magnificat, the song of Mary: Mambo ini ndinokurumbidzai nomoyo wangu wose, which echoes the words of Isaiah 61:10-11 ‘my soul exalts the Lord….’ The source of such joy is the hidden treasure, the kingdom of God in heaven and here on earth.

 

The aspect of self-giving tallies with the words of Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu of Harare, “hakuna akaita murombo nekupa.” When a Jesuit sets out to serve and give the best of his own life to the people of God, the mystery of giving is indeed made true in what is received. The amount of consolation that we receive from giving of ourselves to the mission actually shows how much we receive. Giving is receiving. With God's grace one can even dare to make the ultimate gift as in the example of St Maximillian Kolbe. May the good Lord help us discover the hidden treasure, which He is in us and may we be driven to offer our talents and blessings in the spirit of generosity as the Ignatian spirituality teaches us. 

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