My personal experience of studying the Word of God

by Sr Andrea Chacón Carmona

I have known the Sion sisters since I was a child. They had a community in my parish, in Guácimo, Costa Rica.

I have fond memories of one of the sisters teaching the Bible and giving formation to the lay people every first Sunday of the month.

At that time, I did not know that I was going to be part of this Congregation; the Lord was preparing the way for me to reach Sion, without my knowing it.

I felt that the Lord was speaking to me more and more each day

The ways of the Lord are a mystery. When I was studying at university, I went to a meeting with the sisters to learn more about the Congregation. I was very fascinated by education and by what the sisters were doing in the school, and they told me about the Jewish people, but I didn’t understand and didn’t know who they were.

In my life, little by little, I began to integrate the Word more and more into my prayer, and I felt that the Lord was speaking to me more and more each day. He was telling me, “It is in the Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame’” (1 Pet 2,6).

In my discernment process, I was deeply moved every day to respond to Jesus, to my call to follow him in Sion; my heart was burning. God was inviting me to follow him at an unexpected moment in my life and to offer my gifts in service of the Kingdom. He was telling me: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev. 3,20).

I decided to go for my community experience on February 2, 2012. A fortnight later my mother was taken to hospital, and I was with her and my family. On the 4th of March 2012, my mother died. At that time, I felt like I was walking in a desert, like the people of Israel, and I asked myself where God was. He was silent. I went to the Scriptures and asked the Lord to speak to me, because I didn’t know what to do and where to go. Through his Word, the Lord comforted me and encouraged me to continue my adventure and respond to him. Every day he said to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.” (Cant. 2:10-11).

Through his Word, the Lord comforted me and encouraged me

During my time in Sion, from my community experience and my postulancy in Lekh Leja to my novitiate, I have felt more and more called to be a woman who bears witness to God’s love for the Jewish people and for all the peoples of the earth. Also “The Lord called me from my mother’s womb” (Is 49:1) and “He said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor’” (Is 49:3) and “I will also make You a light for the nations, to bring My salvation to the ends of the earth” (Is 49:6) and the Lord will show me the way to go and will guide me. In short, I have experienced God’s love for the people of Israel in my own life.

I can now say that this flame that was born during my first years in Sion continues to grow with the experiences I have lived in different communities such as Central America, Australia, Poland, and especially in Jerusalem, which is the heart of the Congregation, and has helped me to love and be more passionate about the Scriptures and get to know Jesus more. By this I mean: the sisters have taught me to discover a Jewish Jesus, a Jesus who is human and close to those who are most in need.

The sisters have taught me to discover a Jewish Jesus, a Jesus who is human and close to those most in need

Since our spirituality is Biblical, it questions us, encourages us and strengthens our calling, and I personally believe that we are very passionate about what we do. We commit ourselves to the service of the Kingdom and it gives us the responsibility to remind Christians that we are mysteriously united with the Jewish people, from our origins to our final destiny.

Today I bless God and thank God for all these years that I have been able to enjoy living in the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion. Community life, ministries, prayer life, accompaniment, formation, theological studies and international experiences have helped me to grow in my life in order to continue to walk firmly in Sion.