I just finished watching a replay of Pope Benedict’s final General Audience; it was bittersweet for me. I became Catholic in 2003, 20 years this Easter Vigil. I learned about the faith through, among other people and books, the writings of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger; he was, so to speak, my spiritual father. I had always been impressed with his humble love of the Lord; it seemed to radiate from his writings. Now, I watched as this man who influenced my catechism, leave St Peter’s Square, tired, older but still in love with the Lord and with the Lord’s church and her children. I was thinking how things have changed, and then again, how they hadn’t.
Then to my amazement, EWTN had three commentators of which one, Fr. Dominic Mary of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, had attended my Parish the first year I was catholic; we worked on a parish mission together. I remember this young parishioner as a very loving and devout Catholic. He went away to further his journey and become a priest; and now here he was, studying Canon Law in Rome and was commenting on this final General Audience. I was thinking how things have changed, and then again, how they hadn’t.
Then I thought of Mary our Mother. I thought of her at the foot of the cross as the body of Jesus was taken down and given to her. I thought of how she held her son, as a babe, in her arms with all the love a mother could have. I thought of how she now held her dead son in her arms with all the love a mother could have. I was thinking how things had changed, and then again, how they hadn’t.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)