My Franciscan brother, Fr. Dan Horan OFM, had a nice insight this morning over at his blog DatingGod. In short, while the world has focused on the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the gathering of cardinals, the pomp and circumstance of the electoral process, and all thing papabili, the work of the Church continues.
While the spectacle of papal elections, with the pomp and circumstance of crimson cassocks and Latin chant captures the imagination of many the world over, the work of the church doesn’t end (nor begin, for that matter) with these attention-grabbing events.
The work of the church is in the parish, the ministry center, the homeless shelter, the Catholic Charities office, the Franciscan missions in Peru, the classrooms of Jesuit schools, the hospices of the Sisters of Charity, and so on. The life of the church is found not in the grand processions of cardinal electors or the daily routines of the Roman dicasteries, but in the experience of the Body of Christ, which is the People of God, living a life of faith, striving to follow the Gospel, and caring about how to be a good and holy person — every day, here and now.
Journalists, columnists, pundits, and the like will get their fair share of news and “exciting events” over the next few days, but when the TV cameras and reporters vacate St. Peter’s Square, the nuns who care for Rome’s homeless population and the doctors who work in the Catholic hospitals of that city will continue the mission of the evangelica vita.