Vatican City, 4 May 2014 (VIS) – “Peter is a witness to the hope there is in Christ … and is the firm point of reference for the community, since he is based on the rock that is Christ. … Thus was John Paul II, a true stone anchored to the great Rock”. With these words, the Pope began his homily in the Roman Church of St. Stanislaw in Rome this Sunday, in which he joined with the Polish community to give thanks for the canonisation of John Paul II. Francis mentioned that, during his pontificate, Pope Wojtyla visited this church on more than eighty occasions and said that “in moments of sadness or dejection, when all appeared to be lost, he never lost hope, as his faith and hope were rooted in God. And therefore he was an anchor stone, a rock for this community”.
The Holy Father commented that the Polish population is well aware that, to enter into glory, one must pass through passion and the cross, “and they know this not because they have studied it, but because they have experienced it. St. John Paul II, as a worthy son of his earthly homeland, followed this route. He followed it in an exemplary fashion, being thoroughly despoiled by God. For this reason, his flesh reposes in hope”.
The Pope asked those present if they were willing to follow this route and mentioned that St. Peter, with the voice of St. John Paul II, asks us to conduct ourselves in fear of God during our time on earth. “We are wayfarers”, he emphasised, “but not errants. We walk, but we know where we are going. Errants do not. We are pilgrims but not vagabonds, as St. John Paul II used to say”.
He concluded, “We too can become 'resurrected wayfarers', if His Word warms our heart, and His Eucharist opens our eyes to faith and nourishes us with hope and charity. We too can walk alongside our brothers and sisters who are sad and desperate, warm our hearts with the Gospel, and break the bread of fraternity with them”.