Homily for October 22, 2011: Blessed John Paul II
October 21, 2011 by Deacon Greg Kandra
[Note: my parish is celebrating a special "high" mass Saturday to mark the first Feast of Blessed John Paul II.]
[Click here for the readings]
By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope John Paul. In the parable, a tree is given one more chance to bring forth good fruit. The gardener gives it that chance; he offers it the gift of mercy. John Paul, you’ll remember, was beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy. In fact, the opening prayer for this mass begins, “Oh God, who are rich in mercy…”
Mercy was something Pope John Paul understood in a profound way.
Less than a third of John Paul’s 85 years were spent as pope. Most of his life, in fact, was spent living and working and praying among ordinary men and women in small villages around Poland. From that experience, I believe, he came to understand in a very personal way how deeply the human heart seeks just one more chance, how much the soul seeks the mercy of God.
So this afternoon, I wanted to speak about someone besides that man we all remember as Pope John Paul II.
I’d like us to consider Karol Wojtyla. A lonely boy….a poet… a laborer working in a quarry…a young man in hiding.
Please read the whole thing.