It is supposed to be the first week of Ordinary Time. We are supposed to have a few weeks of quiet time after all our Christmas solemnity. We were expecting the days to take on a bit of a routine, not negative, just a healthy series of the familiar.
But not today!
This morning at Mass, our beloved chaplain, Fr. Anthony just could not contain himself for joy but exuberantly shared with us the great news: Pope Benedict XVI announced the beatification of the Servant of God, John Paul II will take place on May 1, 2011. Can it get any better?
Of course because we were in the Chapel, we kept the cheering and crying to a minimum, but it was a different story when we had gathered in the convent after Mass. Everyone was talking at once. Memories and speculation combined with exclamations of sheer delight. “On May 1st, the Feast of Joseph the Worker, which was established against Communist May Day!” “I remember when I first saw him at WYD in Denver.” “It will be Divine Mercy Sunday!” “Ah, I can still so clearly remember when I was at his funeral.”
I think for each of us this has deep significance. It is a time for great rejoicing and gratitude to God, but also a time to think very seriously about the lessons that Our Lord has imparted to us through this truly blessed man. I find as I write that the words dry up and thoughts move beyond the sphere of my expression. It is a grace. He is my shepherd, my model, my teacher, my father. He gave his life to Christ for the Church and now the Church is giving him to us in Christ in an eternal way.
Anything but ordinary. But then, that is just the ordinary way our Good God is!
John Paul II, we LOVE you!!!