Welcome to today’s celebration where we will witness the final profession of Sr. Esamaria Eugenia in the Congregation of the Religious of the Assumption. It is a life fully given to Jesus Christ, a whole life given back to the Father, and in the dialect she grew up with, she will sing her song, “Guina halad ko ang bug-os ko nga kabuhi sa imo, Ginuo.”. Sr. Esamaria will sing today a song she has learned from Jesus Himself in the course of a life where God was not at first fully known, nor loved, nor understood, but once sized by this love, she sings the final line of her song, “Ikaw gid ang akon palanggaon”. You are the ALL OF MY LIFE. This is also the story of the family, God is all.
Sr. Esamaria Eugenia, Honey Nellie Magdato celebrates today God’s unrelenting presence in her life, the God who pursued her through every twist and turn of the way, who was with her in every shadow and light in the journey and who followed her when she wanted to turn away. Born the youngest to a simple but loving family in Antique, she imbibed the faith of her parents lived daily. She felt the love of God mirrored in the love and care of her parents and of her older brother and sisters in their sacrifices and affection. This presence of Jesus in her life she has engraved in the ring which she will receive: “Ikaw ka imaw ko pirmi” I am with you always. (Matthew 28, 20)
This is what religious consecration is all about, the love of God recognized in a person’s life, the presence of God felt and fully appreciated, and the response, LIFE FOR LIFE, LOVE FOR LOVE, AN OBLATIONAL LOVE in its entirety expressed in the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The Rule of Life of the Congregation of the Assumption reads, “By giving themselves without reserve to Jesus Christ, the sisters dedicate their lives UNCONDITIONALLY to the building up of his body, to the prophetic proclamation of the Good News and to the coming of the Kingdom.”
TAKE O LORD, RECEIVE ALL: the past, the present, the future. Sr. Esamaria will publicly profess the gift of her ALL today. The journey was long but worthwhile. EVERYTHING WAS A GRACE, building up to this moment. Sr. Esamaria recognizes all that, and she gives her ALL in the assurance of Jesus telling her, “I am with you always…Ikaw ka imaw ko pirmi.”We then have a reason to celebrate today. In a universe where we are all interconnected, this act of self-giving carries an immense positive energy for our universe, for our world where the moral fabric of society is being torn apart. This is an act of faith, of hope and of love!
(from the Introduction of Sr. Ana Maria, r.a. before the Eucharisitc celebration)