A MAN WHO FOUND A TREASURE
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
We are going to witness canonization of John Paul II soon. We are glad about this event and we are grateful to the Church for such a quickly undertaken and finished canonization process. How many saints ‘had been waiting for’ canonization for centuries. Whereas John Paul II, who died in 2005, is already blessed, and will be proclaimed a saint soon. Many of us still remember him – as a saint man, full of divine reference. Documentary films, also fiction films, and his theological-pastoral heritage, which has not been completely explored yet.
The editorial team ‘Niedziela’ wants to contribute to the great event of canonization of John Paul II, by giving some ideas of pastoral initiatives, material for reflection and prayer. And, first of all, drawing all people’s attention – who often let themselves be deceived by secular media, believing that the Church and pastoral ministry are something horrible and bad – to the fact that evaluation must be left for God, and that what must be done, should be done, and the evil must be won with good. This program is needed by the Church, who is experiencing many difficult situations, which is tormented and ridiculed by satan forces. Opponents of the Church are undertaking blasphemous acts, offending the Crucifix and other Christian symbols.
We must also know that many valuable and wonderful things are taking place in the Church today. The Church is beautiful but we only have to want to see it. It is, first of all, beautiful with people’s beauty who create it, who try to live in a noble and responsible way and they give an example of it to others. What builds them, what is their driving force is the prayer, a contact with personal God. They consider Him in his life and leave Him a space to act. Not always are these people well-off, they often struggle with the lack of money for basic needs, but they appreciate a treasure of faith and are happy.
I would really like us, as the Catholics, perceive this treasure and gift of the Church. I would like us to pass it over to our family, our children. I would like us to see how much richer we are thanks to it in comparison to other societies of contemporary Europe. Because Christianity not only is included in a widely understood culture – architecture and art, literature and music – but is a matter of the human life, onto which it must have an influence.
So, let’s be glad with Poland, its beauty and richness. John Paul II - a man who found the treasure and out of which he wanted to make a use not only for himself, but for every Christian. This Pope still repeated that he learnt everything in Poland, in the Polish Church and he shared this Church with others on all the continents.
On the occasion of the canonization of blessed John Paul II, let’s open our eyes to Poland, to our national values and let’s look with him at the enormity of the heritage which we must not destroy or let others destroy it. In this spirit we are looking at new ideologies, coming to us with a power of tsunami, to various kinds of temptations and decisions sometimes aimed at destroying our good and heritage.
In the first row of defenders of this treasure should be Polish priests. We are obliged to it by being priests of Jesus Christ and as such we should be also the best citizens of our earthly homeland. So, when the canonization day of John Paul II is coming, we should stand at attention with joy. We have so many reasons for joy and this is taught beautifully by pope Francis. Because the Gospel of Jesus is a good and joyful news for all conditions of life. Hence there are the words of John Paul II: ‘Do not be afraid! Open your doors to Christ!’. This all is said by the Church by strengthening us sacramentally and giving us hope of God’s mercifulness.
May the canonization day of John Paul II – 27 April 2014 on the feast of God’s Mercifulness – which is already shining to us, be the best hint for every priest and every Polish Catholic, for the young generation of Poles, that it is worth walking through life with pride of being a Catholic coming from homeland of John Paul II – an excellent saint of XX century.