Sunday, April 03, 2005

Look to Jesus Christ!

John Paul II 1920-2005

If ever it could be said, "Well done, good and faithful servant!", it has already been said, in Heaven, just over the past 36 hours, with the arrival in Glory of Karol Wojtyla.

This was a life well led indeed. On the news last night, I heard him speaking, years ago, to a crowd in Central Park; "look to Jesus Christ". Shall we not all follow this example, and in each task we do, each person we meet, every relationship we have, look to Jesus Christ! May our gaze be constant.

I also heard it said that some of his final words to his close advisors were to the effect of, "Do not be sad, should you not be happy? I am going to be with my Father". This was a weekend mixed with sadness and loss, but strangely, with great hope and rejoicing. As a middle aged father of two, with a bit of a spare tire around my middle, I have begun to think more about my own mortality. Perhaps it is because my own parents, both of essentially the same age as John Paul, are slowing down and life seems more fragile for them. I must admit it - I am scared of death. I have not had much experience of it. Sad things, things of death were simply avoided in my family as I grew up. And, after college where I met Christ, I knew that as a Believer, death is not an ending. However, from my side of the eternal fence, it sure does look like it. Its scary, man. The lights go out. You are alone.

In a mysterious way, John Paul has taught me something very good about death. It is not all sadness and sorrow. It can be filled with such grace and dignity. Karol Wojtyla has shown me that approaching the end can be good, is such a part of living, and can be so very much a part of knowing Christ. For me, over these past days; with a feeble and frustrated attempt to speak to the crowds, with lighted windows over a darkened Rome, with simple words of hope and promise, John Paul has preached his final and perhaps greatest sermon.

I commented on this just recently here, and it all seems to fit together so well now. Enjoy the company of Jesus and the Saints, John Paul....good and faithful servant.
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