The Newness of God


The Newness of God

In his homily on February 2, Pope Francis said: “By welcoming the Lord, the past opens up to the future, the old in us opens up to the new that he awakens. This is not easy, we know this, because, in religious life as in the life of every Christian, it is difficult to go against the “force of the old”.  The newness of God presents itself as a child and we, with all our habits, fears, misgivings, envies, – let us think of envies! – worries, come face to face with this child. Will we embrace the child, welcome the child, make room for the child? Will this newness really enter our lives or will we rather try to combine old and new, trying to let ourselves be disturbed as little as possible by the presence of God’s newness?”

During the Plenary Session of the Central Government, we often face this challenge, which is more common than we think in our personal, institutional, and social lives… Personally, I face this challenge every day as I pray and try to put the Gospel into practice. The Gospel is that “new” that we must embrace, welcome, and make room for, whatever the cost, so that we may be a proclamation of the newness of God among the poorest: “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

It was a great joy to welcome in our midst His Eminence Cardinal Louis Antonio Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Section for the First Evangelization and New Particular Churches of the Dicastery for Evangelization. After a very fraternally warm exchange with him, he lead us presiding over a joyous Eucharist celebration, where we were joined by the General house community and the International Scholasticate. Reflecting on the Gospel of the day (Mark 6:53-56), Cardinal Tagle emphasized the essential role of a clear sense of mission and purpose, noting that without it, one can easily feel drained and overwhelmed. He encouraged the community to steadfastly hold onto their mission and purpose. Additionally, Cardinal Tagle inspired a call for a humble and simple faith, drawing a parallel with the Gospel’s account of the sick who sought healing by touching the tassel of Jesus’ cloak. This message resonates as a strong reminder to stay focused on the mission while nurturing a humble and transformative faith. We are very grateful to His Eminence and we keep him and his ministry in our prayers.

-Fr. Jerome BLACKBURN, OMI, from the Lacombe Province who died on January 8, 2024, in Edmonton (Canada) at the age of 89 and 68 years of oblation.
-Sch. Collins MASINDE, OMI, from the Kenya Mission/Lacombe Province, who died on January 12, 2024, in Melville (South Africa), at the age of 28 years and 11 months of oblation.
-Fr. Vincent LAPLANTE, OMI, from the Lacombe Province who died on January 12, 2024, in Vancouver (Canada) at the age of 99 and 74 years of oblation.
-Fr. François CUEFF, OMI, from the Province of France, who died on January 18, 2024, in Lyon (France) at the age of 91 and 69 years of oblation.
-Fr. Norbert HOLSEN, OMI, from the Province of France, who died on January 18, 2024, in Strasbourg (France), at the age of 80 and 61 years of oblation.
-Fr. Clarence ZACHMAN, OMI, from the US Province, who died on January 19, 2024, in Belleville (U.S.A.), at the age of 103 and 80 years of oblation.
-Fr.  Jean-Bernard DUHAMEL, OMI, from the Province of Notre-Dame-du-Cap, who died on January 27, 2024 in Richelieu (Canada) at the age of 97 and 75 years of oblation.
-Fr Jacques CHAPUIS, OMI, from the Province of Indonesia, who died on February 5, 2024, in Sintang, (West Borneo, Indonesia), at the age of 83 and 62 years of oblation.
-Fr. Gerard van den BEUKEN, OMI, from the Delegation of Belgium & Netherlands, who died on February 2, 2024, in Hulsberg (Netherlands), at the age of 85 and 62 years of oblation.

May their souls find eternal peace, and may their lives and devotion to service continue to inspire us all.

By Fr. Luis Ignacio Rois Alonso, OMI

Published on the OMI World website