Saturday, May 7, 2011

Where our Treausre is

Last weekend, we celebrated a glorious event, the beatification of Pope John Paul II. An estimated two million pilgrims jammed the square at Saint Peter’s Basilica spilling down the Via della Conciliazione and into the side streets alongside the Vatican. Many millions of others followed the Mass on television. It was a proud moment for all those whose lives were touched by the late Pontiff’s ministry.

Unfortunately, much of the attention was drawn away from the event by the wedding of Prince William the Friday before and the killing of Osama bin Laden on Sunday night.

It reminded me of how Mother Theresa and Princess Diana both died within days of each other. Rather than give the media an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the life of such a great woman, attention was focused on the tragic and mysterious circumstances surrounding Princess Diana’s death. I also remember being shocked that coverage tended to highlight the late Princess’ charitable endeavors while coverage of Mother Theresa’s death often focused on criticism that she gave India a bad name by drawing attention to its poverty or that she accepted money from the Haitian dictator, Baby Doc Duvalier.

I have to wonder whether these events so often coincide to reveal to us where our hearts lie. If we are caught up with the allurements of this world and its values, our attention will be drawn to the royal wedding and bin Laden’s assassination. If our hearts, rather, are set on the Kingdom to come, we will celebrate the Divine Mercy of God which radiated so beautifully through the life and ministry of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

It is not that the Church is being shown up by these other coinciding events, but that are hearts are being shown up for what they are and where they lie.

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