As we waited on the second day of the conclave for the smoke to rise, we felt a growing impatience. How much longer must we wait? Why is it taking this long?
I just want a father.
This was the cry of the Universal Church today. We longed for a father.
This was seen in the massive crowds in St. Peter’s Square, in the coffee shops where people sat in anticipation, in the classrooms where students and teachers huddled around a small laptop with eyes fixed on a simple chimney. (and a seagull or three)
This was seen on social media, in the trending on Twitter, in the statuses on Facebook, and in the pictures on Instagram.
Everyone was waiting to meet Dad.
Then, the smoke began to billow out! At first, we were sure we had met disappointment. The rising smoke appeared to be black. But cheers began erupting from within the arms of the Vatican as the smoke triggered the long-awaited cries: HABEMUS PAPAM!! VIVA IL PAPA!!
But still more waiting followed. Our Holy Father was not ready to meet us yet. Neither were we. We would never be ready for the surprise that awaited us.
The lights flickered on behind the balcony.
The cheers erupted.
“Here he comes!!”
The cardinal announced, “HABEMUS PAPAM!”
A humble man walked onto the balcony. A man that no one expected.
We were used to powerhouses, like Benedict XVI and John Paul II. But from the conclave emerged him.
I think he (the pope) can be summed up in one word: humility.
He presented himself without the normal garb that we see, not because it is bad, but because it is SO good. He was reminding us that he is the “servant of the servants of God.”