Here is a message directly from St. John Paul II to you. From the first moment of his pontificate, and throughout his life, John Paul implored us to set out for deep waters in relationship with Christ. “Be not afraid” was heard over and over again. He promised that Jesus would explain to us the meaning of our existence. Receive this as the most important message you get today or any day of your life.
Here’s St. JP’s homily at his inaugural Mass in 1978:
From the Homily of Saint John Paul II, Pope, for the Inauguration of his Pontificate
(22 October 1978: AAS 70 , 945-947)
Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ.
Peter came to Rome! What else but obedience to the inspiration received from the Lord could have guided him and brought him to this city, the heart of the Empire? Perhaps the fisherman of Galilee did not want to come here. Perhaps he would have preferred to stay there, on the shores of Lake of Genesareth, with his boat and his nets. Yet guided by the Lord, obedient to his inspiration, he came here!
According to an ancient tradition, Peter tried to leave Rome during Nero’s persecution. However, the Lord intervened and came to meet him. Peter spoke to him and asked. “Quo vadis, Domine?” — “Where are you going, Lord?” And the Lord answered him at once: “I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” Peter went back to Rome and stayed here until his crucifixion.
Our time calls us, urges us, obliges us, to gaze on the Lord and to immerse ourselves in humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ himself.
He who was born of the Virgin Mary, the carpenter’s Son (as he was thought to be), the Son of the living God (as confessed by Peter), came to make us all “a kingdom of priests”.
The Second Vatican Council has reminded us of the mystery of this power and of the fact that Christ’s mission as Priest, Prophet-Teacher and King continues in the Church. Everyone, the whole People of God, shares in this threefold mission. Perhaps in the past the tiara, that triple crown, was placed on the Pope’s head in order to signify by that symbol the Lord’s plan for his Church, namely that all the hierarchical order of Christ’s Church, all “sacred power” exercised in the Church, is nothing other than service, service with a single purpose: to ensure that the whole People of God shares in this threefold mission of Christ and always remains under the power of the Lord; a power that has its source not in the powers of this world, but instead in the mystery of the Cross and the Resurrection.
The absolute, and yet sweet and gentle, power of the Lord responds to the whole depths of the human person, to his loftiest aspirations of intellect, will and heart. It does not speak the language of force, but expresses itself in charity and truth.
The new Successor of Peter in the See of Rome today makes a fervent, humble and trusting prayer: Christ, make me become and remain the servant of your unique power, the servant of your sweet power, the servant of your power that knows no dusk. Make me a servant: indeed, the servant of your servants.
Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind.
Do not be afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “that which is in man”. He alone knows it.
So often today, man does not know that which is in him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you, therefore, we beg you with humility and with trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of life eternal.
Let us pray.
God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that Saint John Paul the Second
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Mark 10:45
Could you imagine it? Imagine Jesus – God – getting on his knees and tenderly washing your dirty feet. How would it feel? What would you be thinking? I’m sure we’d never be the same, especially after he told us to go and do the same.
This weekend (October 10-11) and the following weekend (October 17-18) all parishioners are invited to lay their response to Christ at the altar during Mass. In essence when we do this we’re saying: “Jesus, I acknowledge that you wash my feet. Now I choose to do this for others.”
Now is the time. Will you let him wash your feet? Will you, in turn, wash others’ feet?
We received word that Msgr. Peter Dunne died last night. Msgr. Dunne was a priest for over 70 years. He pastor of Sacred Heart Parish from 1961-1968. During that time he oversaw the construction of St. Mary’s Church.
People will remember Msgr. Dunne’s booming voice and his Spirit-filled preaching. He was a “priest’s priest”, who served as a model priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha.
Now, dear priest of God, rest in eternal peace. Inherit the Kingdom you were promised long ago. May you know the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary forever.