Pope Francis reflected on the day's epistle, from the letter to the Hebrews, which shows how Christ "did not hesitate to share in our human condition."
In turn, consecrated men and women "are called to be concrete and prophetic signs of this closeness to God," sharing in the fragility, sin, and woundedness of men and women today.
Pope Francis reflected on Mary and Joseph being amazed at the words of Simeon, and how they protect the sense of wonder of this encounter.
Likewise, "as Christians and consecrated men women, we are custodians of wonder," the Pope said.
This wonder calls for constant renewal, the Roman Pontiff stressed, reminding consecrated persons that the charisms of their founders are not meant to be "sealed in a bottle" as though they were museum pieces.
Rather, they were "moved by the Spirit, and not afraid to get their hands dirty with daily life, the problems of the people," as they courageously went to the "geographic and existential peripheries."
The founders of religious orders were not deterred by obstacles or misunderstandings from others, nor did they attempt to "domesticate the grace of the Gospel."
Instead, they maintained a "healthy concern for the Lord" and a desire to bring him to others.
"We too are called to make prophetic and courageous choices," he said.
Pope Francis reflected on the day's feast as an opportunity to learn how to live out our gratitude for the encounter with Christ in the Eucharist, and for the grace of the consecrated vocation.
"How beautiful is it when we encounter the happy face of consecrated persons, perhaps already advanced in years like Simeon or Anna, content and full of gratitude for their vocation," the Pope said.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
He concluded: "May the Lord Jesus, through the maternal intercession of Mary, grow in us, and increase in each of us the desire for encounter, the protection of wonder, and the joy of gratitude."
In this way, others may be "attracted to his light, and be able to encounter the Father's mercy."