This morning, I was watching the television coverage of Pope Francis’s visit to Washington, D.C. The commentators filled the airwaves with observations about the Pope’s charisma. He is politically astute but it is tempered with the spirit of love and truth. Pope Francis is not afraid to put himself out there to be with people. He has a preference that most of us wouldn’t choose as their priority. His prefers to be with the poor, hungry, incarcerated and homeless, those people without a real voice in this world.
On Monday, I was watching the television coverage of the Pope’s visit to Cuba with a Protestant friend. The images on the television showed the Pope being in the crowds touching and talking with people, laughing and smiling. You could see and feel the love between him and the Cuban people. I was surprised that she made a comment about Pope Francis. She said that the Pope Francis was trying to replace God: “wasn’t he overstepping his role as a religious leader by traveling around the world?” I quickly responded with a firm “no”and corrected her perspective.
I’m fully aware that Pope Francis is just an ordinary man. He is a man, though, who has responded to his call with an extraordinary “yes” to the biggest job in the world. A man who is ordained to live out his vows in the fullest every way. If we truly live out the Gospel in our lives, we all would be like Pope Francis. The world would be a different place to live: there wouldn’t be little kids going to bed hungry, living in their parent’s car or fending off unwanted attention from an adult.
I have a feeling that over the next few days, the Gospel will become more real to me than ever before.