Apr 24, 2014

Saintly Popes - A Church in renewal

Blessed Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John XXIII
We praise you and we bless you, good and gracious God,
for giving us Saints John XXIII and John Paul II
to be our brothers on the path of holiness
and examples of hope and light for the world.
Let their courage embolden us,
their missionary zeal for the Gospel inspire us,
and their contagious joy be ours
as we continue their work of preaching the good news
to a world in need of your divine mercy and love.
(Diana Macalintal)

This Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, will see an event which may easily be touted as the biggest news in the Catholic world since the election of Pope Francis in March of last year.  Pope Francis will formally canonize two of his predecessors, two Popes which many of us remember as living in our lifetime: Pope John Paul II, the first non Italian Pope in more than 400 years whose imprint on Catholicism and the world continues to be felt for some time.  Pope John XXIII who served in that office for just five years but whose imprint in opening the Second Vatican Council by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will continue to shape the Church for centuries to come. 

Why two Popes?  What has happened to someone like Blessed Mother Teresa?  Of all Popes to canonize her, don't you think that Pope Francis, with his emphasis on the poor, would be the best to do that?  Well, in time. 

But as these two famed successors of St. Peter are enrolled among the Saints in heaven, the Church itself is being presented to the world as a living and active voice of moral truth and reason in the world today.  God's work will not be stopped.  It may be slowed down for a time or diverted with obstacles but it will never be stopped.  The Church remains very much alive and we see it on the world stage, as we will this weekend, and we experience it in our everyday lives in parishes and Dioceses across the world. 

So, I feel this canonization of these two powerful leaders of Catholicism sends a strong message to the world that though we all experience human frailty and imperfection, under the guide of the Holy Spirit that voice will not be silenced. 

May his Divine Mercy be poured out for all of us.