In Matthew 13, we find some wisdom that critics of the Holy Father or the Church or those who cannot understand the enthusiasm of the youth in response to this election may find helpful.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
The Church is full of treasures. The papacy is a treasure. The Bible is a storehouse of treasures. Each and every papal encyclical from the past two centuries and beyond is a treasure. Each and every baptized Christian is a treasure. Our singular and divine vocations are a treasure. Do you have as much passion for the treasure of the Church as the person in the parable?
There are pearls of wisdom to be found if you seek them. In the encyclicals, in the Bible, in our hearts united with the Lord in prayer.
Ask yourself: am I fertile soil? am I open to hearing the Truth? Or am I rocky ground? stubborn and quick to judge?
Our Holy Father envisions that the Church will increasingly become a Mustard Seed. For this he has been vilified and condemned as narrow-minded. When he promulgated Dominus Iesus he was castigated. But what radical notion has he proposed? That we are to be leaven in the world. That we are not to shy away from our rebirth in Christ but rather we must embrace that gift and offer it boldly to the world!
The ascension of Ratzinger to the Petrine Office has many people worried. They fear he will reverse the course of Vatican II or that he will impose medieval barbarisms. But he was simply a theologian protecting the Doctrine of the Faith from error. And now he serves the Servants of God as Universal Pastor. “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” He is the new head of our household, and he will bring forth from the storeroom both the new and the old. His choice of the name Benedict is a prime example, and his commitment to ecumenism is another example.
Who is this Benedict XVI? Some think he is a wolf in Shepherd’s clothing. Why such fear and trembling? Why such anger? People are incredulous that Ratzinger could have been elected. “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” The Jews are not dishonoring the Holy Father. Nor are Moslems and Patriarchs. But his very own flock turn against him.
Have you overlooked the treasure? Have you missed the pearls of wisdom he has written? Where is your faith? What mighty deeds can be worked in your heart if it is closed?
Be not afraid! I bring you glad tidings of great rejoicing: