It was like a ray of brilliant light breaking through cloudy skies when I happened on the news of the exhumation of the incorrupt body of St. John Paul II. This is not new; it happened some years back but somehow got ‘lost’ in the daily happenings. But I’d like to take it up again, for here is something different from the usual dose of media reviews, one that can put smiles on the faces of people, can awaken new hope in the hearts of men, and perhaps fan into flame the dying embers of dreams once held close to one’s heart.
St John Paul II, reigned for a long time (more than 20 years) so there was time to know him and his background. It was said that “his person was shaped by his experience with World War II and the communist regime in Poland.” He knew what is to suffer, and to suffer well. He was once an actor, an asset which he used to great advantage. He constructed the first swimming pool in the Vatican, saying, “it is more expensive to elect a new Pope than to build this”. He also initiated World Youth Day. He was present in each one to his dying day. Youth from all parts of the world flock to it, relishing every word he spoke, every moment spent with him; he was their ‘idol’. Even when he could hardly speak, the youth understood him well…there was such love between them.
Yes, I am bringing the figure of St. John Paul II once again into the limelight. He was such a loved and popular person, a wonderful gift of God to His people, young and old. I also believe that there is no such thing as coincidence… everything happens for a purpose.
Can it be that because of all the confusion and delusion being sown in the world, St. John Paul II, who loved the youth so much, wanted to ‘come back’ to remind them of the need for the gifts of the Holy Spirit; of the beauty of a life lived in the service of God and neighbor; of the peace that reigns in one’s soul when time is spent with the Lord in meditation and contemplation; of the courage and strength one gets from prayer and reception of the Sacraments; of the fortitude and solace one receives from Our Lady, especially after a day of hard, and sometimes, tiring work?
The youth now are the citizens of the next generation. So much is at stake. They cannot allow fear in any of its forms to ‘paralyze’ them. They need to put absolute trust in the Lord, for only in Him are all things possible. They must not forget that St. John Paul II has believed in them.
St. John Paul II travelled extensively; he met with all kinds of people, of different religions, dignitaries, Heads of States or Parliament, Presidents… To all of them, he gave the respect and honor due their person and position. He listened to what they had to say, but never gave in when it comes to truth and morals… he was incorruptible.
Incorruptible! What a noble word it is. It speaks of great strength, of all that is lofty, pure and true. In this our age and time, it has become almost impossible not to be tainted with all that surrounds us. Yes, we are surrounded by all kinds of filth, from ideas, images, events and the like. Yet, trusting in the love and mercy of God, it is possible to go through everything, and come out unscathed.
St. John Paul II, please keep on praying and interceding for the people that you love so much.