I got up at 3 a.m. to watch the Funeral of Pope John Paul II. I’m glad I did. It was such a moving, historic, spiritual moment.
And not only that, but it was a moment of witness. In a way, it exemplified the “New Evangelization” that JP2 saw as the part of the implementation of the 2nd Vatican Council. What an awesome way to present the beauty and sacredness of the Catholic faith to all the world.
The Funeral Mass and rites were lead by the dean of the College of Cardinals, and possibly the next Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (from Germany). He’s quite a theologian himself, who also addressed the new evangelization a few years back. I was trying to envision him being the future pope. He just is no JP2, but I’ll let the Holy Spirit figure that out. Anyways, he certainly had a beautiful homily. It closed with these words:
None of us can ever forget how in that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing urbi et orbi. We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us. Yes, bless us, Holy Father. We entrust your dear soul to the Mother of God, your Mother, who guided you each day and who will guide you now to the eternal glory of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
I was so amazed at the immense crowd of people coming together to pray. They appeared to be mostly young, coming to say goodbye to this wonderful father who reached out to the youth in so many ways. The music was uplifting and the whole Mass was in a sense, heavenly. Tears were in my eyes the whole time. But it was when they processed the coffin into the basilica, saying our last goodbye, as the crowds applauded and acclaimed him “John Paul the Great” and a “make him a Saint immediately”, and as the bells rang, that I was overcome.
John Paul 2, we love you!