Seventh Sunday of Easter – Sister Victorine Mansanga, SNDdeN -English

May 8, 2024 | Gospel Reflections

May 12, 2024

John 17: 11b – 19

In today’s Gospel we see Jesus in the midst of prayer.  His prayer extends to two worlds: the earthly world to which his Father had sent him and in which He has shared the human condition, and the heavenly world where His Father resides and where He will complete the term of His mission here on the earth.  Having had life experience in the earthly world where He has lived for thirty-three years, Jesus prays to his Father for his friends who will be contuing is mission in the terrestrial world.

Next, the Gospel gives us details on the prayer of Jesus.  Jesus prays for His friends with whom He has worked.  These are the ones whom He had chosen to continue His mission here on earth.  First He asks his Father to guard them united in His name according to their example (as we are united.)  Then Jesus reports how He has lived with them in this world.

“When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” (Jn 17:12).

And now that He is no longer of this world, Jesus asks His Father to transmit His joy to them, to guard them united and to sanctify them in the truth.  As his Father had sent him, Jesus, in turn, sends them into the world.  Having lived for thirty-three years in this terrestrial world, Jesus knew everything that takes place here.  He knew hunger.  He was tempted, injured and falsely accused.  He knows how his word was wrongly judged and interpreted.  He experienced rejection in the face of the truth.

The fact is that the world in which we live today is perhaps worse than the world which condemned Jesus to death.  We live in a world which is afraid of  truth. Because of the truth, churches are burned, Christians are persecuted in certain parts of the world.  Truth causes fear.  This is what makes friends of the truth become enemies of the world. The world, accustomed to living in darkness, hates light.

Jesus is correct in praying for his friends whom He is sending into the world.  The world loves what is mundane and detests what is not. It is not in vain that following His visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, The Holy Father, Pope Francis, challenged consecrated persons to overcome the temptation of worldly comfort that settles into consecrated life and to hold on to the heart of the mission. The Holy Father demanded of the Consecrated to be models of sobriety and interior freedom: to be sources of light in living celibacy as a sign of interior freedom.   He asked that they not embrace in themselves the vices which they desire to eradicate in others. The Holy Father closed the explanation of these challenges with this supplication :  “Please be aware of wordly comfort.”

We can continue our reflection by means of these questions:

  • What is the state of my heart as it relates to unity and worldly comfort?
  • What should I eradicate in myself before doing so with others?

 

John 17:11b – 19

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

 

 

Meet Sister Victorine Mansanga, SNDdeN

Victorine Mansanga was born on November 12, 1956 in Kiwanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She entered the postulate of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1977 and began her novitiate in 1979. Sr. Victorine made her first Vows in 1982, after a year of practice teaching. She pronounced her final Vows in 1989. Sr. Victorine Mansanga is an educator. She has fulfilled many roles as an educator, and as a Sister of Notre Dame in her province. She worked first as a teacher, then as a director of a primary school, a prefect in secondary schools and formation director for young sisters. She served as provincial superior from 1997 to 2003. As Provincial, she worked with other religious congregations and assumed the role of President of the Major Superiors in the ecclesiastical Provinces of Kinshasa and Kongo Central. Sr. Victorine studied English Linguistics, African Culture, African Literature, religious studies, and language interpretation. She is currently Provincial of Congo-Kinshasa.