Ubi Petrus,Ibi Eclesia.
Its almost a year since we were able to welcome Pope Benedict to the UK and once again this dear man, at an age when most would be staying at home and just pottering about a bit, is greeting tens of thousands at World Youth Day in Spain. The readings this week so well expounded by Father Sean on the post before this one, is the great and wonderful passage were Simon answers "You are the Christ!" and Jesus gives him his new name and his commission as first Pope. Peter didn't know he was being made Pope then, the position only came into being after Jesus had ascended but from this point on Jesus had given him his job, his role to guide the Church on earth until death.
It is a role. a job greater than any one man, it has survived being held by men who were not worthy of it and yet the line back to Peter is unbroken and when the simple man puts on his garments of authority he IS Peter, the Rock, what a rock, what a church!
When Holy Father Pope Benedict came to London he took part in a Prayer vigil in Hyde Park and there was a moment when as the choir sang ,he stood in his Cope and Mitre with his staff in his hand and he was visibly greater and,more than the man, he put on the dignity and power of successor of Peter. I understood what Ubi Petras Ibi Eclesia meant, here was Peter, here was the church.
|You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church|
So I added the memory of that moment ,that feeling of recognition; of the embodiment of the Church, to the special place in my heart were I keep all my most profound; and deepest feelings, a sacred touchstone for times when my faith is weak or the taunts of the atheists and agnostics depress me.
For what did this powerful figure do? he knelt in all humility and worshiped God.
Thank You God for your gift of our Holy Father the Pope, to guide Your people and to Pray for us. Keep him close to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and may the Church in his time be as You wish it. Amen