Last Saturday, September 26th, Pope Francis was right up the road from me, in the city of Philadelphia. He had come to the United States just a few days before, and after visiting Washington DC and New York City, the City of Brotherly Love was his final stop on what must have been an exhausting trip. But, you couldn’t tell that by looking at him. He seemed boundless in energy, smiles, and good will throughout. Just amazing for someone getting close to 80 years old.
I plan to write about more about his visit, including the Canonization Mass for St. Junipero Serra in Washington DC which I had the blessing to attend, but for now, I want to focus on a little story woven into his homily given on Saturday morning at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in downtown Philadelphia. Here it is:
“Most of you know the story of Saint Katharine Drexel, one of the great saints raised up by this local Church. When she spoke to Pope Leo XIII of the needs of the missions, the Pope – he was a very wise Pope! – asked her pointedly: “What about you? What are you going to do?” Those words changed Katharine’s life, because they reminded her that, in the end, every Christian man and woman, by virtue of baptism, has received a mission. Each one of us has to respond, as best we can, to the Lord’s call to build up his Body, the Church.”
So, as we begin to ease our way into the weekend, which for my area is going to be rainy and cold, I hope you’ll reflect on these challenging words. “What about you? What are you going to do?” We all have a part to play in the mission of the Church, and it’s time for each of us to step up and get into the game.