Spiritual Journey framed

This week’s focus word comes compliments of Holly, SJT facilitator and hostess. Please join us; please share your reflection. Thank you!


“Wait for the Lord with courage, New Jersey. Be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.”

PTDC0979 (3)

October 5, 1995


Those were the farewell words, based on Psalm 27:14, that Pope St. John Paul II spoke to the participants of the Papal Mass he celebrated at (what was then called) Giants Stadium.

I had the blessing of being at that outdoor Mass, although I ashamedly admit that I almost didn’t go, having had second thoughts that morning…because of the rain–not just “rain,” but R A I N–pouring, teeming, wind-soaking rain.

As much as I didn’t want to be drenched, I had to admit that it wouldn’t be “right”–it wouldn’t be “fair” to be a “Fair Weather Friend” of the Lord. And so I swallowed my preference to be warm and dry, and headed off to join the caravan of bus passengers being driven to Giants Stadium.

For the hours we sat in the stands before the Mass began, we sang and prayed and waited for the rain to stop–which it never did. (I flew out to California for a business trip the next morning, and when I returned home a number of days later, the boots I wore to the Stadium, in which I stuffed newspaper before I left, still were wet!)

“Wait for the Lord with courage, New Jersey. Be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.”

If you’ve followed my SJT posts, you have to know that patience is a test for me, a real test! And so even though the Pope’s words did not magically change me, I must admit that every time I’ve been majorly impatient or downhearted when a goal I’ve long aspired to isn’t coming to fruition, I think of what our beloved St. John Paul II said.

I take strength from those words, not only because they derive from Sacred Scripture and were the farewell words spoken by the Holy Father, but because they were directly addressed to “New Jersey”–to me!

“Good things come to those who wait,” popular wisdom reminds us.

Yes! An amazingly good thing came to me that day, waiting in the rain. A firsthand experience of worshiping God in the rain with sixty thousand fellow worshipers, equally as rain soaked, and yet happy and proud and grateful to have participated in a Mass celebrated by the Holy Father.

And as a bonus, words I’ve recalled and drawn strength from ever since; words spoken by the Vicar of Christ on Earth:

“Wait for the Lord with courage, New Jersey. Be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.”

Based on that experience, I can only imagine what it must have been like for those who were alive during His Public Ministry, those who had been personally addressed by Jesus Himself, who had been given admonition and counsel from His Sacred Lips.

For me, I will have to wait for a comparable experience. And the words I pray to hear are “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Words well worth waiting for.










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13 Responses to Wait!

  1. hollymueller says:

    Oh, what a perfect last line! It made me tear up!! Thank you for this story; how blessed you were to hear Pope St. John Paul II’s farewell words.


    • bobbietaylor says:

      Amen! Thank you for reading and sharing your reaction. Those last-line words evoke the same response in me!..Thank you for shepherding SJT; I know that being part of this community is directly connected with someday hearing Jesus speak those humbling words to all of us! We’re trying our best to help each other make it home in His Grace..God bless you, and thanks!


  2. Irene Latham says:

    Well done good and faithful servant. I need to tell myself this more often. Sounds like the rain made your visit with the Pope an even more meaningful experience. Thank you for sharing!


    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you so much for taking time to read and to share your feedback; so glad the ending Scripture verse is one that you feel connected to.
      Can’t tell you how many times since the Papal Mass at Giants Stadium I’ve noticed how often God’s People witness to Him in all kinds of less-than-ideal (humanly speaking) weather. Must be part of the gift that I don’t understand. God bless you, and thanks again for affirming!


  3. Donna Smith says:

    You ended with one of my favorite verses… I’m hoping to hear that, too!
    What an experience to have had!


    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for reading and reacting; glad the closing Scripture resonates with you, too!. In retrospect, the Mass took on so much more of a united, sacrificial aspect because of how drenched we all were. It was a great bonding agent–especially when the Pope was getting wet, too! (He told us we should think of it as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit–cleansing and renewing!)..God bless you!


  4. Yes, your “Well done good and faithful servant” is what I wait to hear too.

    I’m glad you braved the rain that day and waited in the rain with thousands of others. The gift of your wait is serving you well. I love such pivotal moments but, like you, I would have been tempted to miss it.


    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you for reading and sharing your insights! A “gift of waiting”–I’ve never thought of waiting in those terms before. Thank you and thank you for your honesty; in that proverbial day for ducks, you have no idea how close I came to “chickening” out. It is a pivotal moment I would have missed! And I never even would have known what I missed..God bless you!


  5. cvarsalona says:

    “Wait for the Lord with courage, New Jersey. Be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.” That is a powerful statement that I would have hung onto if I was in the audience. What a wonderful experience you had and I cannot imagine being in the presence of the Pontiff. We all need to wait patiently.


    • bobbietaylor says:

      Thank you so much for taking time to read and to share your thoughts. Since that Scripture was not part of the liturgy, when the Holy Father emphatically offered that line–last after the blessing and all the other commentary–I really believed it was a gift-word for us. And to think how close I came to not attending. God is good, and as you said, we all need to wait patiently! Every blessing. Thank you!


  6. MaryHill says:

    Amen, seeing Jesus is worth the wait of a life-time. His love and wonder fill your writing. Thanks for sharing your memory of mass and celebration.


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