OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II, POPE, OCTOBER 22, 2020


MASS READINGS


A Gospel according to Jn 21:15-17


After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and

eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter,

"Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"

Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."

He then said to Simon Peter a second time,

"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"

Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

He said to him, "Tend my sheep."

He said to him the third time,

"Simon, son of John, do you love me?"

Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,

"Do you love me?" and he said to him,

"Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."

Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."


REFLECTION: "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."


Forty-two years ago, on October 16, 1978, Pope John Paul II became the Pope I would know for most of my life.


His papacy lasted 27 years, and we have many teachings, letters, encyclicals that he left us. He even influenced worldwide events such as Perestroika and the fall of the Berlin wall. A wonderful book that accounts how three great figures changed the course of history is "The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister" by John O'Sullivan.


Pope John Paul II gave 120% of himself to the Church. He was a true pastor of us, the sheep. I doubt there is a person over the age of 35 that did not benefit from his influence. We have fond memories of him.


And how about our children? Xennials, GenZs, they don't know who he was.


The world of November 9, 1989 (the announcement of the fall of the Berlin Wall) is one that my kids will never know. I look back on those days, and it is strange to reminisce.


While we were busy not doing much, the world changed.


Now we are in times of people fighting for LGBTQ rights. People not only demand abortion, but infanticide. Drugs have been legalized in many places in the world. Churches are burned. Priests are beaten, and even murdered in the streets or while officiating Mass. We are living in a global pandemic of unsurpassing economic damage, and many, many more acts that make it seem that evil has the advantage right now.


And I can just recall Pope John Paul II words: "Be not afraid".


Don't be afraid to ask for this Saint's intercession. He truly was a great Pope; a great man; a great shepherd of the Church entrusted to him.


Let's share with our children his teachings. In particular, the theology of the body helps them understand the true design, purpose, and beauty of their physical self and not lose their souls to the lies that want to make them hate their bodies, and themselves.


Pray to St. John Paul II for our priests. He gave us the apostolic exhortation "Pastores Dabo Vobis" for priests in our time. Pray for his intercession for saintly priests.


Pray to him for peace. He lived under the occupation of two of the most brutal regimes of the 20th century. He did not lead a revolution with bullets, burnt buildings nor torn property. He prayed. And learned to love and be a blessing to all who met him.


Pray for his intercession. Pray to learn from him.


Saint John Paul II. Pray for us.





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