Well, not quite front row, but just about as close as it can be!
It was fourth row seating for eight of us who were chosen to help prepare the altar and bring communion to concelebrating priests and bishops at the Papal Mass for the Epiphany of Our Lord today. The other five of our class sat in another part of the basilica and helped with distribution to the faithful held ciboria during the Eucharistic prayer. It was a wonderful experience had by all.
On the occasion of the feast of the Magi adoring Our Lord, Pope Francis preached on the necessity of adoration in prayer. According to a translation done by the Catholic News Agency, Pope Francis said:
When we do not worship God, we end up worshiping ourselves […] Worship means concentrating on what is essential. In worship, we learn to reject what should not be worshiped: the god of money, the god of consumerism, the god of pleasure, the god of success, the god of self. Worship means bending low before the Most High and to discover in his presence that life’s greatness does not consist in having, but in loving.
Beautiful words from the Pontiff on a beautiful day in Rome.
A few of us were caught on camera by the Vatican News broadcast as well!
Keep praying for us as we pray for all of you back home!
-Deacon Paul Hedman