Every Sunday at Mass we pray these words of the Creed. These days in Philly were an opportunity not only to say them, but to see them! Although each of these four marks of the Church were easy to see in the events of the World Meeting of Families, the one that stood out most was the second.
The Church is Holy. The Church is Holy because she, the Bride of Christ, has been redeemed and washed of every stain of sin through His own blood. Holiness is a magnet. What drew millions of people to Philadelphia and caused the entire city to shut down was the arrival not of the President of the United States, nor of a famous actor or musician. It was not the presence of Aretha Franklin or Mark Wahlberg. What drew millions to Philadelphia was the arrival of the Holy Father, who is called holy not because of his own goodness, but because of the holiness of the office he has received. But in Pope Francis, like his recent predecessors, we see the beautiful witness of holiness of office combined with holiness of life, and the force is almost irresistible. With tangible humility he relentlessly redirects the attention of the whole world to God who is Love. This is our mission, too! “Be holy, as your Father in Heaven is Holy,”Jesus said to us, and “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your god works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.”
The Holy Church has never stopped raising up for us examples of holiness, to inspire us and to guide us. When asked how she felt that she was often referred to as a living Saint, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta replied, “Holiness is not the luxury of the few. It is the simple duty of you and me.” None of us is excused from the duty of becoming a great Saint: of drawing so near to God in our daily lives that every person we come in contact with can feel His presence in our souls. Through Jesus Christ, by means of the ministry of the Holy Church, especially in the Sacraments, the Father is working in our lives to make us great Saints, and through us to draw all people to Himself.
Dcn. Andy Morrow