Upon watching the papal Mass in Glasgow

Yellow umbrellas indicate the locations of priests distributing Communion

For the first time I’ve been able to watch a Mass by the pope while on an international visit. While liturgically the Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow left things to be desired, I tend to consider it a fitting highpoint to a very successful first day. From the audience with Queen Elizabeth II to the homily at Mass, Pope Benedict XVI managed to make an impression of an intelligent and loving shepherd. He does not shun the truth but always accompanies it with love. Love to individual people, strangers and close friends, but certainly also to his flock, the Catholics of Scotland and all over the world.

This papal visit looks to be one covered heavily by means of social media. In a previous post I already shared  a link to the 24/7 live coverage, but the Mass could also be followed via Twitter, or so it seemed by the number of tweets devoted to it. The few cynical and spiteful comments that showed up were successfully drowned out by the sheer joy of faith that many others displayed.

It seems to me that many of the haters are just looking in from the outside, never managing to catch a view of the real deal, but only reflections. I doubt many of them bothered to watch the Mass (with or without an open heart), and if you don’t do that, you’ll never see, let alone understand, the very heart of the Catholic faith. So how can you then pretend to pass judgement on it or its faithful?

The pope is driven through the streets of Glasgow, waving at and blessing many thousands of people along the route. In Edinburgh, the police estimated some 125,000 viewers, contrasting with some 60 protesters. Perspective, right?

2 thoughts on “Upon watching the papal Mass in Glasgow”

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