Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Pope and Lent

In Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on February 2 on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord he invited the assembly “to a faith that knows how to recognize the wisdom of weakness.” Nine days later, he gave the world an extraordinary example of this “wisdom of weakness” in his graceful admission that he is no longer capable of exercising his ministry to the universal Church because of his advanced age, declining health, and diminishing strength.

Could Pope Benedict’s humble resignation be one of his greatest legacies to the modern church? His willingness to break the pattern of being pope-until-death could possibly breathe an element of openness, wisdom and humility into the Church.

His candid self-assessment conveys the depth of character given to those “of advanced years” who receive the freedom to hold within their heart the “wisdom of weakness”.

This reality awakens in me a personal Lenten invitation to name and courageously walk into an acknowledged weakness and there perhaps discover what Wisdom wants to reveal to me. I know it will again let me experience the intersecting cross of God’s unwavering loving presence and jolting, “now-opportunities” which interrupt my everyday life. May the humble face of the Anointed One give me the light-of-wisdom to see that I and all the anointed ones standing before me are always One. May this revealing light engender a more spontaneous remembering that all necessary strength comes from a loving God who repeatedly says, “all will be well”.

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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