Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Who Will Carry The Light If We Do Not?"

For all the ups, downs, long days and wild curves that come with life on this beat, moments like this aren't just amazing to cover and behold: they're the summit of what all this is all about.

As no less than Francis himself observed this morning, though, in this age of media over-saturation, "we have so much information but maybe we don’t know what to do with [it].... So we run the risk of becoming museums."

"This is the challenge that life offers you," he said, "to learn how to love. Not just to accumulate information without knowing what to do with it, but through that love, [to] let that information bear fruit."

Given the scope of this shop, to each and every one of us, let these words serve as a reminder, a challenge and – if we're really going to be Ignatian about it – an examination of conscience.

On a related angle, it is exceedingly rare for a papal liturgy – especially one on the road – to see a uniquely scripted ritual not rooted in any recognitio-ed book. Then again, it should come as no secret to anyone here that the outward-reaching, joy-filled, life-giving, "missionary discipleship"-driven Asian church is the embodiment of Francis' Evangelii Gaudium "dream" in its living the ecclesiology of the peripheries to which Peter's 265th successor has called the entire Body of Christ.

Ergo, in the Catholic ground zero of the continent 60 percent of humanity calls home, it was perfectly fitting – and no accident whatsoever – that the largest crowd a Pope has ever seen was sent forth and commissioned by him with a specially-written rite of light...

...and so, from the Luneta, from Tacloban, from all the Philippines, may Its glow and Its call spread to reach the very ends of this earth:

For those who missed the lyrics the first time, have at 'em:

For God so loved the world
He gave us His only Son
Jesus Christ our Savior
His most precious one
He has sent us His message of love
And sends those who hear
To bring the message to everyone
In a voice loud and clear

Let us tell the world of His love
The greatest love the world has known
Search the world for those who have walked
Astray and lead them home
Fill the world's darkest corners
With His light from up above
Walk every step, Every mile, Every road
And tell the world! Tell the world of His love!
Sure, the words might sound like the theme-song of Francis' pontificate. That they were instead written for the now-surpassed Pope-Record event two decades ago in the same place yet again shows how, in reality, there's actually little new to this moment... well, except for those who've just opened themselves to see it.

* * *
Indeed, folks, these days have been a priceless experience – even more than usual, such a joy and gift to share it all around.

Even for the grace it is, the reminder's in order that doing this work means having equally great bills to pay for it – and lest anybody forgot, the only means we've got to keep at it is your generosity and support....