Rarely does the world get to see the movement of the Holy Spirit highlighted like it is in the succession of a new pope.
In a great sign of unity, the 267th successor of Peter is about to be chosen by a conclave of apostles to lead the largest, most diverse, and most enduring organization in the world. Rarely is the work of God so openly evident in the world as when He acts to maintain something which, by human devices alone, could not have been maintained.
God has worked throughout history to prove His faithfulness to His everlasting covenants; the mere existence of the Jewish people despite every trial in their history is a powerful testament to God’s Providence. Always He has sustained them as a people, though not always as a nation (nor with a Temple), even when they worshipped other “gods,” and even when some chose not to follow His Son.
Just as the Jewish people have been preserved, the work of God’s Only Begotten Son, the Word taken to all the nations by Christ’s visible Body, the Church, continues to endure (Isaiah 55:11, Matthew 24:25, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33). In a witness to our times, the Kingdom of Christ on earth has already outlasted every other human kingdom.
And so, many in the world will be disappointed, for their speculations and desires that the Church would be conquered by the world, would “change its teachings” to conform to the world instead of to her Lord, will come to naught. The world has wished this for the past 2,000 years, but while it has seen its own kings and nations fall, Christ’s Body has never been decapitated from its Head, the Bride never divorced or abandoned by her Bridegroom; the Son of David’s own kingdom has always remained, visibly, in the world, united and lead under a “prime minister” (Isaiah 22:20-22, Matthew 16:18-19). Continuing to build on the same foundation which Jesus laid (Luke 14:25-35 Ephesians 2:20, Revelation 21:14), we are about to see another stone put in place.
Peter, Linus, Cletus, Clement…John Paul II, Benedict XVI, (#267 TBD) — God has never left His flock without a shepherd. Praise the Lord!