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The 61st anniversary of the Second Vatican Council

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Thank you to the McCausland Garrity Marchesani Funeral Home for sponsoring our breakfast this morning at the Cafeteria of Our Lady of Peace School. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness. 

Thank you to all who helped to plan, organize, and conduct our Parish’s Forty Hours Devotion and Social. As we continue with the National Eucharistic Revival, our Forty Hours afforded us a special moment of grace. A special thank you to our deacons for offering inspirational homilies about the Blessed Sacrament.  

The 61st anniversary of the Second Vatican Council was last Wednesday, 11 October. Tomorrow, 16 October, is the 45th anniversary of the election of Pope St. John Paul II.  Pope Francis, at his homily for Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, offered the following. 

“Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and pierced side. They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother, because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. These were two men of courage, filled with the truth of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy. They were priests, and bishops, and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by his five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother. In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy. The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude.” 

“This is the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth to the Church. In convening the Council, Saint John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader, guided by the Holy Spirit. This was his great service to the Church; for this reason I like to think of him as the pope of openness to the Holy Spirit.” 

“In his own service to the People of God, Saint John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families toward the Synod on the family (This homily was delivered in April of 2014; the Synod on the Family occurred in 2015.) It is a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains.” 

“May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.” 

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