The Holy Father, as usual, preached a magnificent homily. He tied in the faith of Abraham with Pope John Paul II. I would take that a step further.
Abraham was an important figure precisely because he believed that God’s promises to him would be fulfilled. Now, he was about 100 years old when the Lord promised him that he would be the father of many nations. His body as as good as dead; Sarah’s womb (she was about 75) was pretty much dead. However, God caused new life to come from the dead and barren.
During his later years, Pope John Paul II received criticism from folks who thought that he should step down due to his infirmities. However, while his body was weak, the Holy Father’s mind, heart, spirit and soul were quite strong. He was still able to preach the Gospel through his suffering. Even when he could no longer speak, his silence spoke volumes. In a sense, through his faith, the Holy Father continued to serve as the new Abraham, serving as the “father”, if you will, of many nations. Just look at the sea of humanity that converged on Rome (5 million) when he died. Representatives from every corner of the globe came to see him (and it was not just the heads of state).