ready to concelebrate Mass with His Holiness. A few times I have mentioned that the Lord keeps soiling me. I didn’t expect I was to concelebrate Mass with the Pope. In fact I didn’t expect to see the Pope at all as in July and August all
Wednesday Papal Audiences are called off. Usually these audiences are the moments to see the Holy Father. How surprise I was when after arriving to Rome I was told that all priests participating in the course have got passes to concelebrate the Mass with the Pope. It was to be me Second Papal Mass. The first Mass I concelebrated was with Pope Benedict during his visit to Sydney for WYD. After all the security scans we were allowed to proceed in order to get dressed for the Mass. Then two monsignors walked us to our chairs in St Peter’s Basilica. When I got there I relies I was to it just a few meters from the altar. I got very excited as I thought about some good pictures I was going to take but then I realized: “I am here to concelebrate Mass, not to take pictures”. I took a few before the Mass and after the Mass but I was very good during the Mass resisting temptations to take the opportunity of being so close to the altar. Actually the Pope made it easier for me to resist temptations. As I was siting to the right side of the altar I could see him very well when he was doing the Eucharistic Prayer. He was so focused. After the Consecration when he was saying the prayers I could witness that his prayers were his conversation with the Lord present in his Body and Blood on the altar. With his simplicity but also with his evident conviction he was talking to Jesus. After his
Resurrection Jesus told St Peter to strengthen his brothers in faith. I am grateful for being so close to the Pope not because I can say now: “I was close to the Pope!!! I was close to the Pope!!” but because he strengthened my faith. Praised be the Lord for that.