Viva il Papa
Our Papa is ill, and the keys that he carries are heavy. The power of those keys that was first given to Peter and handed on for the 264th time to Pope Benedict XVI eight years ago requires heroic strength to bear. On the World Day of the Sick and our celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Papa has decided to carry those keys for 17 days more and then lay them aside for someone, someone only the Holy Spirit knows the name of, to pick up and bear their burden.
Our Lord knew that when He gave those keys to Peter that it would lead him to his crucifixion where his heart would be above his head. And every faithful pope who has clutched those keys has known that their true power is in the cross. These popes have also known that the love of Jesus and love of His flock are that cross’s hallmark. Pope Benedict, thanks be to God, is counted among those faithful popes.
I saw a comment on the Pope’s resignation that had it just backwards. It said, “He wants to spend more time with his family.” This reason that seems to be #1 for people in good standing resigning is the opposite reason for our Papa’s resignation. He is resigning because, in his weakened state, he cannot spend the time with us, his family, that he knows we need. He will humbly lay aside those heavy keys and let another become our father, while he carries the marks his cross has left upon him through the latter years of his life and into eternity.
It is appropriate that it will be during Lent that the Cardinals will be choosing Pope Benedict’s successor. When he is chosen, Jesus will place the keys in his hand and the cross on his shoulder. And He will expect each of us to be this new papa’s obedient child and bear the cross with him.
Jezu, ufam Tobie