Scripture Commentary for October 22

Read today’s Scriptures

Next year the Church throughout the world will likely celebrate the feast day of “Saint John Paul II”. Nonetheless, as we anticipate his canonization next year on Divine Mercy Sunday, we who have vivid memories of this saint rejoice not only for his holiness, but also for his “talent” of helping us realize that we could possibly be called to the same holiness that so radiated through his life and ministry.

Blessed John Paul II never tired of proclaiming Christ and His divine mercy. He proclaimed this not only in word, but also in deeds such as the forgiveness that he offered in the cell of his would-be assassin. From his own attempted murder, he brought forth the Good News. This attempt on his life was part of a wider drama in bringing the peace of Christ to the Soviet bloc in a non-violent manner. Less immediately successful was his confrontation up against the materialism and consumerism of the West. Nonetheless, if the roots of such Western selfishness run deeper than those of Communism—since so many in the West actually believe in the secular creed that surrounds them, unlike in Communist lands—so do the seeds planted by this holy pastor of the Universal Church. Perhaps the most famous example in this regard is the collection of Wednesday catechesis popularly called his “Theology of the Body”, which his preeminent biographer called a “time-bomb set to go off in the 21st century”.

We give thanks for the life and ministry of Pope John Paul the Great. We ask his continued prayers, that in the face of weakness we will remember his call to “be not afraid”, since the love of Jesus’ divine mercy is infinitely more powerful than sin and death.

Diocese of Wichita

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