Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 9: A Year With Pope Francis

No doubt today that many in the media will have stories of the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election and talk about how he has “changed the Church.”  Thing is, we still believe in the same things we believed in a year ago.  We still hold to the same doctrines and morals that we held on to a year ago.  We still celebrate the Mass the same way we celebrated it a year ago.  The secular media keeps waiting for a seismic shift in Church doctrine to conform with the world’s “values” if you can call them that, but unfortunately that isn’t coming because what Francis has set out to do is change our hearts.  A Vatican newspaper this morning called it the “Gentle Revolution.”  We remember his gestures of humility and simplicity far more than anything he may preach on.  You can apply that to any Christian.  But truth be told, Pope Francis has delivered some great homilies and messages over the last year beginning with his “journey, confess, and build” homily which was his first as Pope, the “smell like sheep” homily to the priests on Holy Thursday, the “be protagonists of history” homily to the youth in Rio for World Youth Day, and every single day he has a different message through his daily homilies.  But we return to his simplicity and his call to be a Poor Church for the poor.  The poor are never far from his mind as it was the center of his Lenten message.  It affects our lives in our parishes because it makes us ever conscience of those that are in need around us.  So yes, Francis has changed a great many things to focus our attention on Christ, but then again, aren’t we all called to daily conversion and change as we seek out the living Christ?  May we all pray for our Holy Father as he continues to lead our Church.  May the Good Shepherd give him the health and wisdom to be a shepherd after His own heart.