It therefore provided a mixture of hilarity and nostalgia to read the following in a Vatican Radio account of Pope Francis' Mass on Monday morning in the Casa Santa Marta:
During Holy Week, we should stop to think about how much "patience" God has for each one of us. This was Pope Francis’s advice Monday morning for the men and women who work at the Vatican. As has become tradition since his election, the Holy Father led Mass for Monday of Holy Week, in the small chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, where he is staying until renovation work is completed on the papal apartments.I believe this rather literally represents the attachment of the descriptor "tradition" to a once before event!
Not that I have any criticism of Pope Francis' willingness to celebrate Mass in this way for those who work in and around the Vatican. It has an attractive openness about it and provides a context in which his preaching style comes into its own. It also provides an interesting example that other bishops/archbishops/cardinals might follow in their own particular parts of the Lord's vineyard. I would hope that similar opportunity will continue to occur when Pope Francis moves into a more permanent accomodation.