Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday, 9th Day of the Resurrection Season

There is rarely an event or gathering of God's people that this blogger is not ask a question about Pope Francis.  Yesterday, a calendar filled day, at five different events, questions about Pope Francis were asked.  Indeed, in Catholic and non-Catholic circles the man chosen  "from the ends of the earth" as he says, continue to be mentioned in many of the world-wide press.  What is it about him that so attracts people?  What is there that he is teaching that so captivates the world?

In a homily for several groups of Vatican employees he spoke about Jesus, his friend.  He spoke in a manner and with content that might befuddle the world's and the Church's intelligentsia!  What he did was to present to the workers and the world his belief, ever so simple, that the answer to so many of our personal needs is Jesus.  It is that simple for him.  There were no deep theological mysteries.  There were not intricate philosophical underpinnings to his message.  Again it was ever so simple but perhaps a message with such power because of its simplicity.  And with all respect to the spiritualities of his immediate predecessors, he spoke about Jesus, his friend, in ways that we have not heard before from the recent Bishops of Rome.

In the name of Jesus, the Pope repeated, adding: “He is the Saviour, this name, Jesus. When someone says Jesus, it is he himself, that is, the One who works miracles. And this name accompanies us in our heart”.

The Holy Father also spoke of a personal experience he had while working as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.  There a long-time employee, a father of eight children, would always call upon the name of Jesus whenever he began a new task.  The Pope said that he once asked the man why he would whisper Jesus' name in this way.  When I say 'Jesus', this humble man answered me, ‘I feel strong’, I feel able to work because I know he is beside me, that he is keeping me'”. “And yet”, the Pope said, this man “had not studied theology: he had only the grace of Baptism and the power of the Spirit”. And “his witnessing”, Pope Francis then admitted, “did me so much good. The name of Jesus. There is no other name. Perhaps it will to do good to all of us”, who live in a “world that offers us such a multitude of 'saviours'”.

Pope Francis then mentioned how often people of century turn to so many different "saviours" to find answers to problems, without turning the our friend, Jesus.  Perhaps this seems to simple, almost child-like, so different from elaborately designed prayers of petition.  Some might find it so simple that they might only laugh.

And Mary?  This new Bishop of Rome, very much like his predecessors, turned to the Mother of God as he concluded his remarks.    He noted that he believes strongly that Mary will always take us to our friend Jesus.  Never forget to bring worries and troubles to Mary, asking her to bring these needs to Jesus ... just as she did at the wedding feast of Cana when the young couple's "catering service" ran out of wine.  Mary told the young groom to go to her Son and "Do whatever he tells you."

The Pope concluded with these words:  "I would like us to think of this: I entrust myself to the name of Jesus; I pray, 'Jesus, Jesus!'”.