Thursday, August 18, 2011

Double Header Thursday

Reflection by Patty

It's 11:11 PM and we just finished dinner. I'm racing to get this blog composed and posted before the clock strikes 12 signalling the start of tomorrow. Oh tomorrow, don't come too soon. I still haven't fully processed today.

Today we mastered the METRO. Riding it to hear Cardinal Sean speak at Parroquia de San ANTONIE de CUATRO CAMINOS. There was not a pew nor a square foot of flooring that was not occupied by a pilgrim.

The Cardinal spoke on being established in Jesus Christ. He said that when the apostles followed the Lord they had secret ambitions. But listening to Jesus had a big effect on them. Transforming them to be more like Himself. Cardinal Sean also reminded us that the Acts of the Apostles are not something that stopped just about two thousand years ago. They continue with us today.

Next up was Our Holy Father's arrival. Just how do you jam 2 million extra people into a 4, okay maybe 6 city block area? Very tightly. We left the hotel at 4:30 for his 7:30 arrival. It's only a 10 minute walk, but 2 million other pilgrims were also looking for a place to call their own for Pope viewing.

How does one travel within such a mass? Like a snake, holding on to the person in front by their backpack loop. And wouldn't you know it all the best spots were taken. The group settled on a location directly in front of a tower of speakers. Stepping very close to Mrs. Willitts I spoke over the music, "If you stay here, I'm going to have to leave the group. I'll have a headache in another minute." The group voted to stay, I waved good bye and set out to find quieter viewing. Ah the advantage of being an adult on pilgrimage.
Amazingly the perfect spot I found was the same exact spot we had for the opening Mass. I shared a 5 foot by 5 foot piece of searing black top with some French, Italian and Spanish pilgrims. We stood for 2 hours, in the heat. WYD volunteers sprayed the crowd with fire hoses. Quite refreshing actually; not being able to move much more than shifting about our feet. It was a party atmosphere with each group, (not me), yelling out their national chant for the Pope. It was magical with the French pilgrims learning and then initiating the Spanish cheer and the Italians were leading off with the French. And the Spanish joined in with them all and kept up all laughing. It was great to watch the cultures blend. For we are one body, one body in Christ. We waited and waited. I had my camera poised. The road was just feet in front of me. I should be able to get a shot. Unfortunately the Pope did not arrive on that road. Instead he came into the square by another route. A bit dejected, I started to find another location where I would be able to view the giant jumbotron. And as I squeezed my way through the crowd who should call my name? Leslee... They had moved on as well.
The Pope entered in to the square by a different road, got out of his popemobile, and was presented the keys to city and such. And then I noticed he was back in his car. Really was it over? No praying? NO, he was being driven along the crowded streets. Yahoo! The Pope was coming! The crowds went crazy. He was right there in front of us.
After his quick trip blessing the pilgrims, the Pope returned to the altar to preside over a prayer service where he urged us to become firmly rooted in Christ. He told us God has always loved us, no questions asked, and it is up to us to turn towards God. Tomorrow is the Stations of the Cross. Where God shows us the infinite levels to His love.

Blessings to you all.

No comments:

Post a Comment