Galatians 3:1-5 (Psalm) Luke 1:69-75;Luke 11:5-13
27th Week in Ordinary Time
“How much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Luke 11:13)
Fifty years ago today, Blessed Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council. For the next four years, bishops from all over the world met to discuss how they could speak the gospel to the modern world. The world had changed dramatically in the hundred years since Vatican I. John sensed that a fresh approach was needed.
The Council Fathers sensed that the old formulations of Christianity had to be rethought. The terms and methods used for centuries had to be brought up to date so that the glory of the gospel message could shine out once more. At his address opening the Council, John XXIII said: “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another.”
Pope John wanted to open the doors to the Church. He wanted the people of the world to be able to look inside the Church so that they could see the beauty of her teaching. He also wanted the people of the Church to pass through those doors to meet the world with boldness and confidence in the Spirit.
He wanted believers to proclaim that Jesus is with us in every circumstance, offering his strength, his wisdom, and his healing. God is not limited to cathedrals, churches, or shrines, he taught. He is with us at work and at home, wherever we go, ready to lift us up to his presence. Day after day, Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts, asking us to let him in so that he can work in us and through us (Revelation 3:20).
The teachings of Vatican II are just as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. So on this anniversary—a day that also opens the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI—let’s commit ourselves to bringing the message of the gospel to everyone in our world. Let’s all proclaim the gospel that brings relief to guilty consciences, hope to the downtrodden, and miracles to those who believe.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created, and you will renew the face of the earth. (Prayer of Pope John XXIII)” ~WAU