SIGNPOSTS OF THE CONTEMPORARY TIMES
FR. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The sky over Ukraine, over Europe flared. The world was overwhelmed by anxiety, because every conflict, smaller or bigger, local or spreading in bigger territories, causes fear and anxieties. We know from history what fear people were experiencing before the year 1939. And a terrible war came, which touched many countries, particularly our Homeland. At least 50 million people were killed! This was a real tragedy for humanity. No wonder that we are overwhelmed by anxiety and our thoughts are focused on all possible peaceful solutions of the conflict. One can see in such situations whether high political posts are held by suitable people, responsible for countries and nations.
Today our thoughts are running to St. John Paul II, a Pole – the example of faith and life, who never ignored any meeting with a single man, especially the one in need, but who also could conduct talks in a suitable way with the most powerful politicians in the world, especially when peace was endangered.
We lay our trustfulness in this saint patron of our nation. Divine mercifulness somehow became his mystic message which he preached, this God’s spark, which will come out of Poland and is so needed to the whole world. Mercifulness in which God is rich and which we can give to others with imagination, with the biggest knowledge and feeling its need makes that there is not a situation without a solution: we can always direct our eyes at merciful God and hope for His merciful love. So, let’s entrust Him also other nations, especially the ones involved in conflict situations, also Ukraine and Russia, asking God also for the light for the European Union, so that it could maintain its solidarity and honesty towards all countries of the Union and Christian identity, so that it would feel responsible for the world of real values.
St. John Paul II showed the contemporary man how much he was marked with God’s presence, how much God’s law is inscribed in the human nature. He showed us a beautiful perspective of life and love civilization, which gives an impulse for joy and development. And when life of many people is endangered, this Pope, loving the man so much, shows him roads of salvation and also the source of understanding the sense of life and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is this source, without whom – as John Paul II said – it is impossible to understand the man. Christ is a road for the man, the truth about him and life for him.
In this spirit, today we are asking St. John Paul II for help so that many of us could be on this road of Christ, everybody, first of all our decision-makers and politicians. The whole rich heritage of John Paul II serves to it, his documents, apostolic letters and speeches preached in various situations, as well as film records about so many ceremonies with his participation, and even photos with him and rosaries given by him – relics which are numerously in our families. John Paul II is simply one big signpost.
We cannot omit here the pontificate of John XXIII significant for the Church and the world, who through summoning up the Second Vatican Council opened the universal Church to the needs of the contemporary times. It was him to whom John Paul II referred directly, taking on his name for his pontificate as well as including conciliar decisions in his pontificate.
So, let these great popes and great people canonized on the same day – on Sunday of Divine Mercifulness 2014 be the best patrons for the contemporary world and the whole holy Church. Let them be the reviving spirit for the humankind, a sign of the Church opening to the most important human needs, among the others, to the issue of peace in the world. The expression of this concern is, among the others, the encyclical of John XXIII ‘Pacem in terris’, and the whole apostolic work of John Paul II served to this peace – also peace in the man. Let ‘pacem in terris’ – peace on the earth exist also today, at the time when we are so strongly embraced by the spark of Divine Mercifulness which comes out from Poland.