Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amid the "Oil Change and Tune-Up," A Warning Light: "Francis Is Calling Us"

Merry Chrismas to all... and to all, well, start your engines.

As this Tuesday of Holy Week brings the largest batch of Chrism Masses on these shores, this is always an especially graced moment. Still, one prelate who faced delivering his most important message of the year ahead of the Pope's word to Rome probably echoed the mind of many others on musing that "I just wish I knew what Francis was going to say" come Thursday morning.

For what it's worth, guessing ain't much use – we'll see in 36 hours, and we'll all see it together.

Whatever happens, it bears recalling that as the last papal Holy Thursday made for two of the most evocative moments of this new journey to date – the almost exhaustively-quoted call for pastors to bear the "smell of the sheep"... and the video of the evening's Mandatum in a juvenile prison – this second round brings a high bar to match, let alone clear. Yet even before the Big Man gets his turn, the deck of reflections is already filling up.

Along those lines, below is the Chrism homily given this morning in Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross by Francis' "regional assistant" for North America, Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap.: