So my friend Lori is in town and suggested she come watch the Installation Mass. In real time. So at 2:30 am, the doorman called me and told me she was here.
So Salt+Light is fired up on my computer and we’re watching Pope Francis cruise around the piazza — around every corner of the piazza.
So here are some running observations.
He’s not in the covered Popemobile. Not that the covered Popemobile was really covered — it was open on the sides — but the one he’s in is completely open. (More on his desire to be close to the people later.)
Seeing a severely disabled man in the crowd, he made the Popemobile stop so he could dismount and greet him and bless him. It was so beautiful — he clearly has a love for the weak and defenseless (Jill, you gotta send that picture…)
All the priests appear to be late. Their section is only half full! Come on, clergy. Just because you have special color ticket and get a special section, doesn’t mean you can just waltz in at the last minute!
They’re reporting that they’re expecting a million people, but the crowd doesn’t look nearly that big.
Who is the lady in the white mantilla? A Catholic head of state? There are two of them.
Now we have some down time — the Pope has returned to the Basilica where he’ll go to the tomb of St. Peter with leaders of the Orthodox Churches.
When Lori heard that the head of the Salvation Army was there, she decided she should just start her own religion so she could go to these things. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make any sense.
I took a break from blogging to give play-by-play to Lori, especially regarding important things like emcee sightings. I still haven’t seen Archbishop Ganswein, which I suppose makes sense — for Pope Francis, he is “only” Prefect of the Papal Household, and you didn’t see Archbishop Harvey everywhere at Papal liturgies.
My emcee is getting some pretty sweet air time, though.
The choir boy from the Sistine Chapel choir singing the Responsorial Psalm melted my heart. Is that a Papal Mass first? (not the melting of my heart, but the choir boy.)
Thoughts on the homily:
“How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. ”
Wow. Talk about fruit for prayer. How often do we want to know everything and understand everything before we act? How many of us were dying for answers when the Pope resigned — when maybe there weren’t answers to be had? We walk by faith, not by sight. Some times we don’t have answers, sometimes we don’t have understanding. But we still obey. Obedience isn’t obedience if it’s only done when we agree or understand…
…”The vocation of being a ‘protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!”
Were those politicians listening? This isn’t the first time I’ve had the thought that Francis is going to challenge us. Protect the environment! The Green Party rejoices. But then he adds… “it means protecting people…” eek! Save the poor! The Democrats rejoice. But wait … that means saving the defenseless, too … the unborn. Get ready, people. Francis is not a split personality. It’s all are nothing. Protect human life. Protect God’s gifts… ALL of them.
“Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down!”
Our modern world would say that we cannot control our passions- we are animals that have to act on our feelings, our instincts. The Holy Father is reminding us that we have an intellect and will that are supposed to order our passions, our emotions, for the good.
I was surprised that the Holy Father stuck to his prepared text. But it was a beautiful homily, so no complaints here!
The Salve– a perfect ending.
Well, now it’s off to work. Sorry my thoughts were all over– Lori and I are feeling a little loopy since it’s now 5:30am and we’ve been awake for the last three hours. Of course, she gets to go back to sleep after 7am Mass, and some of us have to go to work…
More to come later. And happy Solemnity of St. Joseph! Remember, today’s a Solemnity, so Lenten sacrifices are suspended today!