The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
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Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes: “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?”
It appears as though Pope Francis is bringing back the lost sheep. This dearly beloved Pope has not only broken some long standing protocols in the Vatican, he has also broken Vatican records as well! His Wednesday audiences are bigger than ever! Even bigger than the crowds that would come to see John Paul the Great! But what may very well be his greatest accomplishment is his ability to bring the notoriously anti-clerical Romans (Italians) back to the Church. Now that’s a miracle!
How does he do it? Let me show you the ways.
From Rome with Love. First of all, Pope Francis loves what he does and loves who he is. He loves to interact with people, common people. He loves to kiss babies. He’s no politician. He’s not running for office. He’s already won the election and he won’t be replaced unless he decides to be replaced. He has nothing to fear. He has no personal agenda. He doesn’t love marriage because he is married. He doesn’t love his enemies because he doesn’t have any. He loves God and others because he believes in both. Pope Francis is who he is because he believes in what he does. He loves to share the Good News: Jesus Christ. He loves Christ. He loves his neighbor. He loves them in a way that very few love today: he thinks of them, prays for them, and gives himself to them. He is a blessing to Rome and a blessing to the world. And most people, of good will, can see straight through him and they like it.
From theologian to shepherd. Now I’m sure you don’t know this, but Pope Francis is a very intelligent man. He holds degrees in chemistry, theology, philosophy and psychology. He is a man who spent years in the classroom and preferred to live in the slums around Buenos Aires. He is a man accustomed to negotiating with the elite of the world while finding wisdom among the least of the world. How’s that for logic! How’s that for science! He is a man that knows man, objectively and subjectively; in general and in particular. Pope Francis has a deep appreciation for structures and procedures. He is both spiritual and religious. He is structured in his thoughts and liberal with his words. He knows how to use prepared remarks and how to ad lib. What a remarkable feat! How authentically human!
I have never understood the scientist that could not take his work and bring it home. I have never been able to take seriously the atheist who is objective in writing, yet highly subjective in living. They appreciate all too well the mechanics of man but not his wonder. They say religion was invented all over the world to serve the needs of man. That’s like saying ears were invented to serve the need of eyeglasses.
The Holy Father knows how to mix and mingle reason with faith; living with studying, praying with talking, textbooks with experiences, music with math, love with chemistry, holiness with a smile, suffering with joy, God with man.
Hey you out there! If you can’t seem to do both, then why not learn from the Pope? He knows God. He knows man. He knows how to discover one and search for the other. This is nothing new. This is what our Lord did. This is what He did so well. This is why people worship Him. This is why people love Pope Francis.
What most people love about the Pope is not that he is the Pope, but that he has a heart that is after their heart. It is the same regarding Jesus. What most people love about Christ is not that He is powerful, but that He is loving. He has a heart for us.
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