Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis in DC

Some people seemed irritated about the fuss made about Pope Francis' visit to DC. Some even insinuated that we were worshipping him.  We (Catholics) know that he is human and that he is NOT God. We do not worship him. We just simply love him. Pope Francis shared in an interview in October 2013 his belief.
"I believe in God - not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being."

Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic church, an estimated 1.2 billion of us worldwide. Approx 50% of all Christians. Yes, we are Christians. This Pope encourages peace and tolerance and is admired by believers and non believers.
We took off and traveled downtown to see him because of who he is and what he represents. As our leader, he reinforces the importance of shifting from a church centered philosophy to a people centered one. We are the church and he reminded us to serve those in need, be it an elderly neighbor, a child, the poor or imprisoned. It is our responsibility to serve others and evangelize by the way we live.

I have left DC and traveled to NYC to see Beyonce in concert because I love her music and performance. I traveled and stood for hours in cold weather to bear witness (via jumbotron) to President Obama's inauguration.....twice. So taking a trip to see Pope Francis with my son and mother was a no brainer for me.  His visit was a historic one and as my 11 year old stated, "This is history and our presence makes us a primary source". I didn't think about that. But he's right. We witnessed history and I'm grateful I was able to share the experience with family and friends. He is a living example of tolerance and empathy and challenges us to Live the Joy of the Gospel.

[Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others.] - excerpt taken from The Joy Of The Gospel.

His visit reinforced in me the call to corporal works of mercy and to pray without ceasing. To live out loud not just by my words; but my deeds and be of service to others. His presence and words of wisdom gave me pause as I engaged in reflection and self examination.

So I humbly ask that if you are irritated, to just be patient and tolerant of those like myself who admire this man affectionately known as Papa Francisco, a symbol of tolerance, peace, empathy, reconciliation and hope. Be kind, be respectful and be empathetic to others.
Above all remember the golden rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" as you embrace your journey.

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