Saturday, April 02, 2005

Across the back wall of our church is a beautiful, large mural depicting the crucifixion of Jesus. Shown with Him are a Roman soldier, our Blessed Mother, and several other witnesses to His execution.
Tonight, as I knelt in my pew following communion, my eyes kept glancing back and forth between this beautiful piece of art and a poster-sized photo of Pope John Paul which had been placed just to the side of the altar. A connection slowly began to unfold and it occurred to me that, as we watched the decline of the Holy Father over the last few days and again as we continue to mourn his passing over the next few days, each of us has been given the opportunity to participate in a very sacred grief. While in a much smaller way, ours is the same grief which must have been felt by those portrayed in this painting as they witnessed the suffering and death of Jesus. The uncertainty and fear that they must have experienced as they stood by and watched the drama of a slow death unfolding is not unlike the uncertainty and fear we shared as we watched our Holy Father move closer and closer to "his Father's house". In a very symbolic way, our Lenten journey continues. Through the death of John Paul II we are given the chance to step back nearly two thousand years and, and in a very real way, to glimpse the pain and the agony of that Friday afternoon so very long ago.

Vere Papa mortuus est. The Pope has truly died.

Copyright©2005 jdwarrick    

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