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    Posted April 27, 2014 by
    Rome, Italy
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Canonización de Juan Pablo II

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    Open Windows and Doors

    Today's canonization rites at Saint Peter's Square was historic. Many have dubbed the event as "the day of four popes"--two proclaimed saints--John XXIII and John Paul II, and two living popes--Pope Francis who presided over the celebration and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who came to concelebrate. Beyond the fact that all their names are tied together in today's big event, we can add that it was Pope John Paul II who beatified Pope John XXIII (2000) and Pope Benedict who beatified John Paul II (2011). Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council. Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) was present as bishop and Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI was present as a young theology professor). And now Francis is Pope as the Vatican Council II documents are in their fiftieth year.

    So there is a lot of connection among these popes of the day of four popes.

    But I would like to focus on the newly canonized Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. They are men of recent times, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the modern period. It is precisely this newness of the times when they lived that their canonization becomes even more relevant.

    Saint John XXIII, "Il Papa buono" was not anymore young when he was elected to the papacy, prompting people to speculate that he would be a transition cardinal who would hold on to the status quo. However, he surprised the world when he convened the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II). It was an act of throwing open the windows in order that the leaders of the Church may see out and the people may see what's inside and also to bring in a gust of fresh air. It can be seen therefore as a springtime in the Church. And what does this fresh gust entail? What do the open windows welcome? A renewed enthusiasm and joy in accepting the doctrines that the Church teaches. It is the manner in which one accepts the perennial message. This is, in other words, bringing what is timeless in the Church to the modern world, making it relevant more than ever.

    Saint John Paul II, was young at the beginning of his pontificate and we can understand the enthusiasm that he breathes into the task that has been given to him. In the homily in his inaugural mass he tells the faithful: "Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid." It an opening of doors to Christ--in the different fields, in development. It is a continual answer to the call of the present times.

    The homily of Pope Francis in the mass of the canonization looks into the fact that the two saints belonged to the twentieth century. They both "cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features." So what is perennial is not lost in opening doors and windows.

    It comes in line with what Pope Francis preaches to the flock in these times we are in. The open windows and doors are make it possible for the Church to see what is outside and to go to these realities in order to bring the unchanging message that the Church brings, a message that gives us a lot of hope and joy.

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