May 29, 2020 – Friday, Seventh Week of Easter
‘As once at Caesarea Philippi the apostle Peter spoke on behalf of the twelve to make a true confession, beyond human opinions, of Christ as Son of the living God, so today his humble successor, pastor of the Universal Church, raises his voice to give, on behalf of all the People of God, a firm witness to the divine Truth entrusted to the Church to be announced to all nations.’ – Paul VI, at the conclusion of the Year of Faith, St. Peter’s Squared, June 30, 1968
Pope Paul VI
Today is the feast day of Pope Paul VI, who was canonized October 14, 2018.
When he was elected pope in 1963, Paul VI continued the council reforms begun by his predecessor, Pope John XXIII. The new pope had enthusiastically supported the Second Vatican Council and it now fell to him to continue its work. Among the reforms Paul VI implemented were the vernacularization of the liturgy, relaxation of the rules on fasting and abstinence, and the establishment of a commission to revise the Code of Canon Law.
In 1964, Paul VI made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land becoming the first pope to visit the United States, speaking before the United Nations in 1965.
On the 1,900th anniversary of St. Peter’s martyrdom in 1967, Paul VI declared a Year of Faith, beginning on the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, June 29, 1967. When the Year of Faith ended on the same feast in 1968, Paul issued a profession of faith, “the Creed of the People of God.”
Before he died on August 6, 1978, Pope Paul asked for a simple funeral with no monument placed over his grave.
Jesus said: ”…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:20)
How is it that I’m supposed to go out and make disciples of all people?
Am I supposed to go and preach on a street corner?
Go to the mall and start giving personal witness about my faith in Christ?
Stop people in the hall and say, “Let me tell you about Jesus Christ”?
I can do all of those things but I make disciples of others primarily by letting my light shine through.
This doesn’t mean taking a spotlight and shining it in someone’s eyes. That only results in blinding the other person.
My light needs to be more like the running lights on a car. Daytime running lights are not there just so I can see, they’re there so that people can see me.
My light is a deep-down goodness that can’t be faked. Like a running light, the goodness just shines through and can be seen by other people.
I have the Spirit of the risen Christ within me. Are the running lights on in my life?