By Father Timothy Gollob
Special to The Texas Catholic
It is Friday, the 27th of March. The harbingers of spring are all around us as we wait out the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring comes with a gust of hope when we can see the leaves and the grass turning green. We can hear the songs of the birds and have our hearts filled with rejoicing.
But there has been another witness working today to bring sunshine into our lives. It is the blessing which Pope Francis I gave to world this afternoon. It was delivered to an empty St. Peter’s Square; but thanks to our new world of instant information, we were able to see and hear our Pontiff declare that Jesus is in the boat with us.
The apostles were fishermen and that must have been a terrific storm to frighten these hardened sailors, but they were afraid. Jesus was sleeping in the stern of the boat. When he wakened (at the proper time, I might add), he rebuked the waves and they obeyed him.
He also rebuked the disciples for being afraid.
It was not because the raging waters were not terrible, but it was because they had seen his works and listened to his words and rejoiced at being chosen Apostles. Yet they were genuinely scared.!
The calm and gentle demeanor of the Pope was reassuring. He was, like Jesus, confident. He was speaking not only to the people of Italy, but to the whole world. Over and over he repeated that we disciples of 2020 should not be afraid.
Pope Francis demonstrated after his talk that it was Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was the loving mother of the people of Rome. A blessing for all travelers and a ray of hope for our battered and sad world.
He next stood next to the rugged crucifix which had been taken from the Roman church of St. Marcellus during another plague. It had been a sign of healing then and that instrument will be a sign of restoration for our battered world.
As I saw the Piazza of San Piedro fill with rain and darkness, it was also obvious that inside the basilica there was light and promise. The greatest promise was that of eternal life for those who let the Blessed Sacrament be their source of Eternal Life.
Finally the bent over ancient pope hefted the heavy golden monstrance and toted it out to edge of the wet and lonely plaza. There he gave a triple blessing to the whole world. Three blessings for all of us from one Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Father Timothy Gollob is the pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.