When a great figure passes, I reflect. Today, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at the age of 95.
I thought about how I find the Popes are a reflection of God the Father on Earth. Often, seen dressed all in white and with a smile, Pope Emeritus Benedict reminds me of the rays of light that emanate from God in paintings. Certainly, Pope Emeritus Benedict VXI was human. He likely had favorite food, tv shows and even a particular bedtime routine. We all do! Through the years, I would hear rumblings about his character, teachings, politics – some good, some bad. I feel this is the norm for leaders. Years after he had resigned as Pope, I saw an image on the internet with Pope John Paul II (Saint), Pope Emeritus Benedict, and Pope Francis. Beneath each there was a caption: Saint Pope John Paul II read: “This is what we believe”; Pope Emeritus Benedict read: “This is why we believe it”; and Pope Francis read: “Now go do it”. In just a few phrases, I better understood what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the great, German theologian had accomplished and how he fit into the succession of pontiffs. Now, coming back to the image of the Father. As a teenager, my friends and I sometimes innocently compared our fathers and we were amazed that we all loved our dads equally even though they were so different. Difference, might have been the case between John Paul, Benedict, and Francis with the common thread being love. Love of God, love of the people they ministered to and love of life. I had a chance to witness this in person (from a distance) in my youth for two of the pontiffs. While still human, I believe they are a glimpse of fatherly perfection (I understand not everyone would agree). I remember early in my Christian walk, learning that whether your earthly father was amazing or horrible, God the Father is actually perfect. He loves unconditionally, is slow to anger and accepts you where you are at. With the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, we lose a reflection of the Father on Earth. Meanwhile, God the Father waits patiently for each of us to accept His love and to call upon Him in our journeys for help. Wishing you a wonderful New Year with the Father’s love.
Andrea is a parishioner at St. Maurice who lives in Hintonburg. She enjoys gelato, refinishing furniture and volunteers in a variety of ways for St. Maurice. If you have interest in helping with any aspect of Communications on our website please email email@example.com.