His Holiness

And now the world has a new Pope. The white smoke went up the chimney and the news cameras started whirring. What sort of a fellow is this one from Argentina? What will infallibility look like on him? Does he have any of Peter’s pluck; or the submissive, patient demeanour of the transformed Big Fisherman who wrote the two epistles? The Roman Catholic Body holds its breath for the early signs. Very quickly he will be into his Easter homily (March 31st) and CNN will follow.

But has Jesus allowed any kind of hiatus in His program?

It is Thursday morning and Betty has taken a cab to the Home to visit her long-time neighbor Dorothy. Stroke victim. Speechless. Left side sagging. Betty has not seen a smile since about two month’s prior when an unusual item in the news caught Dorothy’s fancy. And she would be bringing news today at top levels, neighbourhood and familial levels. Perhaps some classical music on the CD player. A psalm or two read, or continuing in Luke’s Gospel (the one filled with women). Occasionally Betty would give a synopsis on Sunday morning’s sermon. Dorothy would give her uninterrupted eye contact. Occasionally a swab of the drooling face.

There would be lots of hugging and smiles. This didn’t always prove easy for Betty, but she persevered. Prayer before the visit would often help. And she would remember how Dorothy had been her mainstay for months in 2004 when Harold had dropped dead from an aneurism.

This is the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant, the Church Obedient, the Church Expectant – no matter whom the Swiss Guard happen to be attending across the Blue. Amen. Maranatha!

Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario



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