Pope Francis had his first full day in DC on Wednesday. After traveling to the White House he went to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, and then to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. What a busy day! Do you ever wonder how he does it? Talk about life in the Spirit! It is exhausting just watching him, but it is a wonder to see his joy.
My Facebook friend, theology professor Brian Flanagan said that “When he’s leading the ceremonies, @Pontifex has Resting Pope Face but as soon as a real live person is there his smile lights up.” Very good observation!
No matter where he was the Pope was doing one thing very well… he was delighting some people and annoying others. What a reminder of the discomforting elements of our faith. If we do not feel challenged by our belief system periodically, something is probably amiss. In any case, this is often the situation with Pope Francis, because he can’t be squeezed into a category. Just like Jesus.
As we walk and pray with the pope this week, how can we approach the elements of our faith that are a challenge for us? And how can we approach others who are part of that challenge for us?
Maybe this is how we can pray for ourselves and for one another today. Instead of feeling anger, frustration, or annoyance when we think others should see the faith the same way we do, we can stop and ask the Holy Spirit to help us open our hearts. The other day Pope Francis said something about how we all would rather “throw rocks” at one another rather than to talk about our differences. Let us pray – and then talk – as we journey as members of the Body of Christ in the world. Our discomfort might not be relieved, but if we can open our hearts, we might be surprised at what God has in store for us.
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