Hello everyone. Hard to believe that today is the last day of our pilgrimage. The day started relatively early with us arriving at the Vatican at 7 am for 7:15 Mass at the Tomb of St. Pope John Paul II. This has the third time I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity, and it never gets old. Walking into the Sacristy of St. Peter’s, getting vested for Mass back there and then arriving at this altar where the only Pope I really remember from my Childhood all the way through my early years as a priest is burried – now a Canonized Saint…
Here is my homily from today’s Mass – the Feast of St. James the Apostle. The Readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072514.cfm
That is what is at the core of today’s Gospel – we hear one of Jesus most urgent desires of His Apostles – His Followers, of all who preach and speak in His name. That the witness of their lives would not be diminshed or undermined by looking for places of honor or prestige, but that they would be men of humility – who’s primary, singular focus is what we talked about our first day of Pilgrimage – Jesus Christ – and Him alone. That they would serve Him,
And sadly, we can point to all kinds of examples we’ve seen or heard or experienced in the Church that would be similarly disappointing. The complete opposite of what Jesus is calling them to.
Yet rather than dwell on that, we are blessed in countless ways. Blessed first and foremost to have had such an amazingly beautiful week here in Rome and Assisi on this Pilgrimage to have opportunities to meet Jesus Christ in a new and different way as we’ve travelled place to place which we will share and discuss later. But Blessed even more as a Church.
As we gather for this our last Mass together at this special place, first we should ask the Lord’s continued blessings on Pope’s Francis and Benedict – that their examples and witnesses will continue to be absorbed and imitated by all called to leadership in the Church… Examples and witnesses of truly being servants of Christ and servants to Christ’s people, the Church – and the world.
But may we also ask for St. Pope John Paul II intercession for each of us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.