I've been hanging out at You Tube watching videos of the Pope's visit, and I especially like to watch the ones of the excited crowds waiting for the Pope to appear. They sing, they chant, they play drums, they cheer, some run after the 'Popemobile'. I don't think I had any strong opinions on the Pope when I was Protestant, but I didn't understand how Catholics could get so excited over one man. He seemed akin to the British Royalty; in high stature but no one really knows for what purpose . But now I get it. There's something about watching the videos and reading news coverage that makes me feel ownership in the Catholic faith. It's made me realize that I understand the sentiment of the people trying to run after the Pope's car. The Pope may be an ordinary man; his office is anything but. He's the successor to Saint Peter, which is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it--Jesus appointed Peter head of his Church on earth, and here in front of us today is the 265th person to hold that very same office. The Pope is a living, breathing link to Christ himself.
I went to pray in the chapel at church yesterday, and there was a wedding rehearsal going on in the sanctuary. The musicians were belting out Mendelssohn's Wedding March, complete with trumpets and organ (that's the one they always use on TV for the recessional). It all seemed very grand and stately and made me think that when Christ returns, there will be some loud music, there just has to be. How could he come back quietly? How could he be received quietly? The Pope is but a shadow of Christ, but I get the noise of the crowds, the willingness of people to travel long distances just to see the Pope. He's a connection to Christ that can be visibly seen, and it's natural to want to make some noise, have a celebration over this link to heaven. As people would cheer for Jesus--although I'm not sure that's the right word--they cheer for the Pope.