Celebrating the 30th anniversary in Poland

The closing Mass of the World Youth Day (Krakow) was celebrated on Sunday morning and Monday we started our way to Warsaw. By then the bishops were two! Bishop Inacio Saure IMC (from Tete, Mozambique) joined us on the way back. Reaching home I shared with the community I would be celebrating my 30th anniversary the following day. Together with Fr Christian, we were ordained priests in 1986. They immediately decided to celebrate Mass before lunch, once everyone had been taken to the airport and... before taking me.

It was, somehow, a typical Consolata celebration. Two bishops, six priests, two seminarians... Three continents and at least eight countries being represented in one way or another. 

The gospel, taken from Matthew 14: 22 - 36 was a "familiar one": "It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him."

I shared with them that, when you go for confession at St Peter's, you find a huge painting of this passage. One day I took a photo with my phone, printed it and framed it. It is one of the two images you find in my bedroom. 

Peter is able to walk on the water as far as he keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus. Once he turns to the strength of the wind... he starts going down. The wind was always there. It was Jesus who made the difference. Something to keep in mind.

At the end of Mass I was given two gifts. One, an image of the Black Madonna venerated by the Polish people. The second one... the flag of Swaziland which Fr Luca bought in Poland for the World Youth Day!