Today, along with RSCJ around the world, I'm praying for the twelve RSCJ who made their perpetual profession of vows this morning. I hope they feel as strongly held in the collective heart of the Society as I remember I and my group did, thanks to so many messages of prayer and support. This is one of those times when our sense of international community is almost palpable.
I don't know what readings or hymns they chose, but if they opted for today's readings they've opted for a theme of pointing and witnessing to the holiness of God and the person of Jesus. Meanwhile, the psalm (39) echoes a central part of any profession ceremony, when, after the Gospel, those to be professed are called by name. Each one answers very simply Here I am Lord. There are more words later, when they are asked to express their desire and eventually make their profession, but it all begins with those few, simple words, which contain within them so much of availability and generosity, of readiness and eagerness.
And all this is also contained in the psalm...
Sacrifice and offerings you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin-offering you have not required.
Then I said, 'Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will, O my God,
your law is written in my heart.'
May all of us - but especially the twelve newly professed - be able to make those words and their underlying attitudes our own.