Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ! These words with which Saint John Paul II took the chair of Saint Peter on this day, Oct 22, 1978 still resounds in our ears and our hearts.
I’d like to revisit a short poem with you. Actually, it’s a well known Nursery Rhyme!
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The Lord says: "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you!" Surrounded by confusion, and people obsessed with power, the Lord reminds us of His divine power. So He proclaims The Kingdom of God has come upon you! We know this. We know how this divine power has been at work in the Church for centuries. We have known the Lord’s power in our own lives.
Saint Jerome loved the Word of God – and he wanted you to love it too. He gave his life as priest to translating the Bible for future generations and explaining it. Living in the 4th century, he moved from Rome to the Holy Land and settled down for the mammoth task of translating the entire Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin.
We kayaked 10 miles into the outback: across Yellowstone’s Lewis Lake, up the Lewis River and halfway across Shoshone Lake to the campsite. Stepping out, stepping back: there I found the different perspective I was hoping for as we celebrated the Eucharist on the shore, looking way off across the lake. This gaze opened into infinity, finding and awakening vision: the faculty to be able to see and to understand.
During a Roman Persecution, Pope Saint Sixtus II was martyred. Laurence was a deacon, the Pope’s right hand, and the treasurer - overseeing all the works of the Church to take care of the poor and suffering. Even knowing that the Emperor intended to decapitate the Church, and that they were after him too, he didn’t go into hiding. Rather he set himself to empty the church treasury and give all to the poor before he died! There’s a story that when he was being burned at the stake, he calmly said to his executioners: "Turn me over. I’m done on this side."