November 9, 2008
32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
And they believed
Nothing in particular happened for Poland on November 11, 1918; no great event occurred for our nation. Well, yes, Józef Piłsudski came from Magdeburg. But something much more important did happen: armistice was announced on the western front and that meant the end of the World War I.
And at that point Polish people rushed to build their own state. Something enormous, something sky-high was happening. Nobody knew yet what borders would be established, who would be in power, but already there was the will of our nation to build the sovereign state.
One can find many such moments during the years passed. I remember few of such events.
For instance in 1945 I was walking through the pontoon bridge over Wisła River in Kraków. All of a sudden I heard soldiers’ singing and marching sound coming from afar. It was a Polish army detachment. And they were singing:
Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, Poland has not perished yet
póki my żyjemy, so long as we still live
co nam obca przemoc wzięła, That which alien forrce has siezed
szablą odbierzemy. We at sabrepoint shall retrieve
Marsz, marsz, Polonia, March, march Polonia
nasz wielki narodzie, our great nation
odpoczniemy po swej pracy after our work is done we’ll rest
w ojczystej zagrodzie. in our native farmstead.
I have never in my life heard this melody and these lyrics. I approached a soldier in line and I asked: “Where are you coming from?” The question was just to be able to hear something in Polish. He answered: “From Lublin”. “On foot?” I asked again. “Yes”, on foot.”
Or for instance, when at the end of August in 1980 “Solidarity” broke out.
Or for instance when in Zakopane, Highlander girls sang for our Pope:
Syćka se wom zycom to i łowo, Everybody wishes you this and that
syćka se wom zycom to i łowo, everybody wishes you this and that
a my wom zycymy, a my wom zycymy and we wish you, and we wish you
sceńścia, zdrowio. happiness and health
The whole nation wished him that. John Paul II represented our greatness, wisdom and dignity.
And then – his dying. The whole Poland was dying, expiring – and died for that moment when he died. As if the time had stopped, as if the time was no more, as we had been suspended in vacuum.
These sublime moments should help us to make us love Poland more and more. Polish culture, our history, our cities, and villages, sea and mountains, winters and springs and our people – Polish people. Quite ordinarily; day in day out.
Fr. M. M.