Pope St. John Paul the Great
Ephesians 4:7-16 + Luke 13:1-9
October 22, 2016
“And He gave some as Apostles, others as prophets….”
We who have vivid memories of St. John Paul II rejoice today on his feast: not only because of his holiness, but also for his “talent” of helping us realize that we ourselves could possibly be called to the same holiness that radiated through his life and ministry.
St. John Paul II never tired of proclaiming Christ and His Divine Mercy. He proclaimed this not only in word, but also in deeds such as the forgiveness that he offered in the cell of his would-be assassin. From the attempt on his own life, he brought forth the Good News. This attempt was part of a wider drama in bringing the peace of Christ to the Soviet bloc in a non-violent manner.
Less immediately successful was his confrontation of the materialism and consumerism of the West. Nonetheless, if the roots of Western selfishness run deeper than those of Communism—since so many in the West actually believe in the secular creed that surrounds them, unlike the common man in Communist lands—so do the seeds planted by this holy pastor of the Universal Church. Perhaps the most famous example in this regard is the collection of Wednesday catecheses popularly called his “Theology of the Body”, which his preeminent biographer called a “time-bomb set to go off in the 21st century”.
We give thanks for the life and ministry of Saint John Paul the Great. We ask his continued prayers, that in the face of weakness we will remember his call to “be not afraid”, since the love of Jesus’ divine mercy is infinitely more powerful than sin and death.