A Tribute To The Holy Father, Pope Benedict Xvi
Poem By Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar M.D.,
Message: “But, let there be one flock and one Shepherd.”
The world has got a Pope anew!
His name is Joseph Ratzinger;
On April, twenty-fourth, Sunday,
He’s duly installed as the Pope,
Successor to Pope John Paul II.
A German cardinal old-aged,
A Theologian ’yond compare;
A man of wisdom, silver-haired,
A conservative of the Church,
He said Inaugural Mass that day.
St. Peter’s Square was thronged by crowds
Of people of all ages, sex-
That numbered five lakhs from countries,
To witness his Investiture:
A life-time’s rare phenomenon!
Yes, Heads of States and religious;
The clerics and the laity too;
Representatives from many lands;
Some curious tourists and Faithful,
Dignitaries and pilgrims too,
Had jubilantly gathered here.
And Benedict, the XVI stood,
All dressed in cassock of pure white;
With face akin a beaming sun,
He blessed the flock that vouched support,
Became their new Shepherd of love!
A Pallium of finest wool,
With five red crosses and three nails
Just like the wounds of Jesus Lord;
A ring with St.Peter, as fisherman-
A Mitre and a Staff- he got!
Oh, what a glorious sight indeed!
All flower-decked and incensed air;
Heavenly scene on earth for once;
The sheep in finest attire-
They came to greet the new Shepherd!
The Pope then said a Latin mass-
A language of the Vatican;
With Gospels in Latin and Greek;
Pope’s homily that took an hour!
The patient crowds turned ecstatic!
Pope’s Homily in Italian:
Assuming an enormous task, he said,
“I’ll do the Will of God and not my own;
I ask for prayers from you, one and all;
I reach out to believers and to Jews,
And non-believers- ‘Listen to God’s word’;
The Lord will guide me from now on;
I’m but a weak servant of God;
My special greetings to all who will share
This great spiritual heritage.
But, let there be one flock and one Shepherd.”
The Mass went on to Holy Communion;
The priests went to the pilgrims to give it;
Applauses loud interrupted his speech;
The crowds waved flags to the new Pope
As he traveled amidst them in a jeep!
The luckier ones had a glimpse of the Pope;
The others took his photographs;
Some viewed him through binoculars;
The billion Catholics watched him by TV;
The Pope then blessed the pilgrims and his flock.
Some viewed him rather too skeptically,
Afraid of his orthodoxy dogmas;
The earlier Pope had not answered
Some modern problems that world faced;
How will he deal with Abortion,
Gay- marriages and Condom use,
Women as priests, homosexuality?
But time will tell whether this Pope
Will change the world, better the Church;
Some things can ne’er be compromised;
The Shepherd loves his flock, no doubt;
The flock must heed his word-’Follow’.
The Shepherd searches for lost sheep;
With him as guide, ‘Don’t be afraid.’