Monday, 26 November 2007

Mass of the Rings

Yesterday, Sunday 25th November, I joined a group of priests from the Casa to help in the didtribution of Holy Communion at the Pope's Mass yesterday. It was the Solemnity of Christ the King - Regis Universorum - and also the Mass at which the Pope gave specially made rings to the newly created Cardinals. It was a wonderful event, the Basilica packed full with people, and crowds spilling out into the Square. The Pope looked very well and he preached upon the reign of Christ from the Cross and how the new rings that he would give out, newly crafted with an image of the crucified Saviour, were a reminder that the Cardinal must be a man willing to give his life for Christ and for the Church which he must love as the Lord has loved it. Christ reigns from the throne of His cross.

Later in the Mass we processed, each with a ciborium of hosts, and stood around that magnificent altar over the tomb of St Peter, buried in a pauper's grave below. We had a close view of the Pope offering the Mass. It was very moving to be so close to the Successor of St Peter in that intimate moment of the confecting of Christ's sacrifice, the making present of the utterly poured out Saviour, Jesus, the Master whom Peter imitated as he went to his own sacrifice in the nearby circus of Nero. Here again Christ reigns in His sacrifice, a reign of that perfection of love, which knows little of the power of the world but know all about the eternity of God from and for whom are all things, through Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

And then we moved to give out Holy Communion. Despite a certain air of chaos, I was deeply impressed by the evident devotion in the eyes and on the faces of so many as they reached forward to receive the Lord as their Food of Life. The Lord truly is in His people. Deo gratias.

Below are two priests from the Casa I went with, dressed in cassock, just outside the Blessed Sacrament chapel in St Peter's where we had to gather beforehand: Fr Pat Beidelman and Fr Larry Kozak:

No comments: