On December 6, 2013, Blessed John Paul II Shrine Chaplain Father Gregory Gresko concelebrated Mass at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Basilica. He reflected upon his experience here:
To be at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II is to be reminded of the beauty of dwelling in the house of the Lord, gazing on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplating His temple, as the Psalmist says in Ps 27. To celebrate the Eucharist on the altar containing the holy remains of the man whom the Church soon will recognize as Saint John Paul II is in itself a confirmation in faith as the Church has just concluded the 2012-13 Year of Faith -- confirmation of the greatness of the Communion of Saints to which each one of us as Christian faithful is called, but also of the spiritual presence of the saints among us, most strongly whenever we celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The tomb of Blessed John Paul II is a reminder of God’s call to holiness that is written on the hearts of all people who call themselves Christian, who are consecrated into the Lord in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. It is a firm reminder that every one of us is called by God to become a saint in whatever state of life we find ourselves – to embrace a life of genuine holiness by following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in the daily path of this earthly journey, until we realize the promise of everlasting life in the beatific vision of God’s heavenly Kingdom. As the Gospel of the two blind men reminds us (Mt 9.27-31), Jesus is ready to enlighten our darkness in this Advent season through the gift of His healing touch, if we only would have faith and hope-filled trust in Him. May this Advent be a time when we ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts with the gift of a stronger faith, so that inspired by ever stronger hope, we might believe more fervently with open hearts to God’s perfect Love incarnate in the Infant Jesus this Christmas.
For more about his experience and for photos from the Mass, check out the Blessed John Paul II Shrine website.