Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Pope Saint John Paul II (1920-+2005) Patron Saint of Poland, World Youth Day and Young Catholic Families
Readings: Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians 3:14-21; Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5,
11-12, 18-19 ; Luke 49-53
Before Pope John Paul II’s funeral Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, hundreds of thousands of people waited patiently for a brief moment to pray before his body, which lay in state inside St. Peters for several days. The media coverage of his funeral was unprecedented.
Presiding at the funeral Mass was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals and later Pope Benedict XVI. He concluded his homily by saying, “None of us can ever forget how, in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing to the city and to the world. We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father. We entrust your dear soul to the Mother of God, your Mother, who guided you each day and who will guide you now to the glory of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
In today’s Gospel narrative Jesus challenges us to examine daily whether our focus is on God or ourselves. When the focus is on us, are we loyal to just about everything EXCEPT Jesus? If our focus is on God, are we loyal to the Lord, who desires mercy and not sacrifice? Today, our Lord wishes to fuel the fire of our faith. We never want to be placed on a collision course with the rest of the world or our own families.
Question of the Day: How will you remain rooted and grounded in love and make an effort to comprehend and embrace the infinite power of God’s love?
Prayer: O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirt of love to shine through him. Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for the Intercession Pope Saint John Paul II.)