The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate

RESPONSE TO JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS: JUNE 9, 2013

by Sr. Carmela Lukey, SSMI, Jubilarian

Carmela_and_Hilary

In Eccl. 3:1 we read: “There is a time for everything under the sun:

Today, however, it is a time to celebrate Jubilee: for Sr. Nathanael, 75, for Sr. Hilary, 70, and for myself, 60 years of religious life and service.

Jubilee is a biblical concept. In the Hebrew Scriptures, we read that after every 7 x 7 Sabbatical years, on the fiftieth year, a jubilee is proclaimed, a year when ordinary life gives way to more time for reflection, regeneration and thanksgiving for all that was.

In response to today’s celebration on the occasion of our jubiliees, on behalf of Sr. Nathanael, Sr. Hilary and myself, it would be most fitting,first of all, to thank God for God’s constant, unconditional love, faithfulness and generosity throughout the years, within the context of religious life and service.

As each of us reflects on this love, generosity and faithfulness on the part of God, it is no wonder that there is no better way to symbolize these awesome attributes of God but that of a “diamond”, the gemstone that represents the 75th, 70th and 60th celebrations of jubilee, because of the gem’s durability, stability and solidness. How appropriate! I am sure that most of you have heard of the expression, “Diamonds are forever.” The “forever” in diamonds invokes and symbolizes a solid past, celebration of the present and fullness of the future.

We are deeply aware that the one who expresses this “forever” in our lives most enduringly in love, generosity and faithfulness is our creator God, who from all eternity, from a solid past, has called us by name and has been continually fashioning each of us and endowing us with our own unique personalities, talents and giftedness, that were, and are, necessary to fulfill the work that God has called us to, in the Lord’s service. For this we are especially grateful.

The unfolding of these gifts and talents was nurtured and accomplished at various stages within the past decades of our lives. As our boundaries were stretched, and as new ministries and challenges opened up, what seemed, at times, ordinary or impossible became the choicest wine as we felt graced by the Holy Spirit.

As we grew, matured and deepened our lives through prayer, retreats, workshops, sabbaticals, etc, we saw how God had nudged us gently to take on new and different ministries as well as ministries within ministries. Here I wish to speak of the ministries that Sr. Hilary and I were involved with:

With an attitude of gratitude, for all these experiences we are deeply grateful to our Lord.