Rorate Caeli

To be converted like Peter

Jesus desires us, he awaits us. But what about ourselves? Do we really desire him? Are we anxious to meet him? Do we desire to encounter him, to become one with him, to receive the gifts he offers us in the Holy Eucharist? Or are we indifferent, distracted, busy about other things? From Jesus’ banquet parables we realize that he knows all about empty places at table, invitations refused, lack of interest in him and his closeness. For us, the empty places at the table of the Lord’s wedding feast, whether excusable or not, are no longer a parable but a reality, in those very countries to which he had revealed his closeness in a special way. Jesus also knew about guests who come to the banquet without being robed in the wedding garment – they come not to rejoice in his presence but merely out of habit, since their hearts are elsewhere. In one of his homilies Saint Gregory the Great asks: Who are these people who enter without the wedding garment? What is this garment and how does one acquire it? He replies that those who are invited and enter do in some way have faith. It is faith which opens the door to them. But they lack the wedding garment of love. Those who do not live their faith as love are not ready for the banquet and are cast out. Eucharistic communion requires faith, but faith requires love; otherwise, even as faith, it is dead.
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We too, all of us, need to learn again to accept God and Jesus Christ as he is, and not the way we want him to be. We too find it hard to accept that he bound himself to the limitations of his Church and her ministers. We too do not want to accept that he is powerless in this world. We too find excuses when being his disciples starts becoming too costly, too dangerous. All of us need the conversion which enables us to accept Jesus in his reality as God and man. We need the humility of the disciple who follows the will of his Master. Tonight we want to ask Jesus to look to us, as with kindly eyes he looked to Peter when the time was right, and to convert us.

After Peter was converted, he was called to strengthen his brethren. It is not irrelevant that this task was entrusted to him in the Upper Room. The ministry of unity has its visible place in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Dear friends, it is a great consolation for the Pope to know that at each Eucharistic celebration everyone prays for him, and that our prayer is joined to the Lord’s prayer for Peter. Only by the prayer of the Lord and of the Church can the Pope fulfil his task of strengthening his brethren – of feeding the flock of Christ and of becoming the guarantor of that unity which becomes a visible witness to the mission which Jesus received from the Father.

Benedict XVI
April 21, 2011

4 comments:

Mike B. said...

"We too find it hard to accept that he bound himself to the limitations of his Church and her ministers. We too do not want to accept that he is powerless in this world. We too find excuses when being his disciples starts becoming too costly, too dangerous. All of us need the conversion which enables us to accept Jesus in his reality as God and man."
I find this a reality that burdens my inadequacy. Benedict continues to the most extraordinary of preachers.

Michael F Brennan
St Petersburg Fl

LeonG said...

What a pity then that the fruits of Vatican Councils II have severely damaged the church's missionary zeal and efforts. As the much travelled anti-abortionist FR Paul Marx OSB (RIP) decried, a church in "total chaos". The attendances have fallen vertiginously as one time Catholic abandon the faith in millions. Only the curch can accept the blame for this - not secularism since this process is not increasing as fast as curiosity in & membership of false religions.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed on different videos of the ceremony (they are available on YouTube) the Pope does not kiss the crucifix, but it mimics the movement instead. Can someone explain to me why is this? Have someone noticed it?
M.M.

Anonymous said...

M.M.

I have noticed it, but I attribute it to the Holy Father's height and to the fact that the Crucifix was perhaps to high for him to kiss the Corpus.

If you watch it again in one of those websites that have recorded videos of the rite, you will see that the Pope makes a profound genuflection at the base of the Cross (the picture is in this blog entry), then he raises, tries to reach the Corpus of the Crucifix for a kiss, stumbles a bit, failing to touch the Corpus, and then he "throws" the kiss from a little distance.

I find nothing abnormal in this. Some people are shorter than others.