October 11, 2017 – Feast of Pope John XXIII

Key Points about Pope John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) Wikipedia Article  (11/25/1881 – 6/3/1963)

  • Eldest son and fourth of fourteen children born to a sharecropper family in northern Italy
  • Ordained 8/10/1904 and served in France, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey
  • Was a chaplain and stretcher bearer in the Italian army in WWI.
  • Was actively involved in saving Jewish refugees from the Nazis during WWII.
  • Elected Pope 10/28/1958 on the 11th ballot
  • Visited hospitals and prisons in the Diocese of Rome
  • Sneaking out and wandering the streets of Rome at night earned him the nickname “Johnny Walker.”
  • Eliminated the description of Jews as “faithless” in the Good Friday liturgy.
  • Confessed the anti-Semitism of the Church through the ages.
  • Called Second Vatican Council which began 10/11/1962, now his feast day.
  • Died of stomach cancer 6/3/1963 before the end of Vatican II.
  • Declared a Saint by Pope Francis 7/5/2013.
  • Affectionately known as “The Good Pope” or “il Papa buono.”

Quotes from Pope John 23rd (all from Wikipedia article)

“We are all made in God’s image, and thus, we are all Godly alike.”

“Dear children, returning home, you will find children: Give your children a hug and say: This is a hug from the Pope.”

“in his Pacem in terris. He wrote, “Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood.”[59] 

And, he wrote an autobiography published in paperback in 1999:

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 9.52.57 AM

Father Linsky remembers Pope John 23rd as a relaxed and smiling pope known for closing the day with this prayer: “Hey, God, it’s your Church. Take care of it. I’m going to bed.” (Loose translation)

Given the apparent peace and happiness of Pope John 23rd, Father Linsky then transitioned the discussion to the idea of keeping the big picture in mind, the magnanimity of God in whose image we are created, practicing humility and avoiding the potholes of life, pride, jealousy, small mindedness, resentment. We must remember that God wants ALL to be saved, while we are tempted to wish otherwise for certain people and groups of people. Jonah, upset in today’s Mass readings about God not punishing Ninevah, shows us the wrong attitude and gets a lesson from God after this prayer:

Jonah 4:2New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

He prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, is this not what I said while I was still in my own country? This is why I fled at first toward Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, repenting of punishment.

We are all encouraged to invite more to join this Wednesday morning prayer time. Recent participation has ranged from 17 to 24 persons.

By the way, my grandfather, who taught me to drive a furniture delivery truck in my early teen years, told me that if I would keep my eyes on what was going on the few hundred yards ahead of me instead of staring at the road right in front of the truck, I could avoid those potholes I kept hitting. That is almost exactly what Father Linsky’s driving instructor told him.

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