His real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio – it won’t be long before a generation of children will be named Jorge (pronounced Horhe) because of this man. Jorge is noted for his humble demeanor and his deep love for the marginalized and his service to the downtrodden. And now for his desire to reform the Catholic Church.
The most significant thing that he brings to the Christian table is his openness and willingness to reach out to people who may not see faith the way he sees it.
“I believe in God, not in a Catholic God”
He has been quoted saying, “And 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 willingness to build bridges could spell a new season of cooperation among Christians of different flavors. A big game changer if only because Catholics are among the most numerous.
Traveling the world I have found the significant work of early Catholic missionaries in Asia that have stood the test of time. In some cases Christianity would have been overrun by other religions if not for those early disciples of men like Francis Xavier and others.
As a child growing up I’ve had the privilege of knowing Jesus, albeit not in His fullness, but it was much better than having no prior knowledge of Him. The Philippines still is the only Christian nation in Asia. For that I am grateful to the early Catholic missionaries.
Spot on Sir!
Pope Francis has also been quoted saying, “The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.” – Spot on Sir.
Church leadership should empower leaders at all levels to care for the souls of people. So they can encounter the grace of God that comes from the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Leaders that turn believers into disciples of Christ to ensure generations of other leaders and believers. Leaders who are open to new ways of reaching people in our changing world.
Europe’s recent history has taught us that though people believed in Christ but have been disunited, have been overrun by Nazism, Communism, and today the continent is threatened by secularism and Islam. If we’re reaching out to those of another faith why are we not willing to reach out to one another? Wasn’t one of Christ’s most important prayers before he was crucified about this?
Christ’s Very Own Prayer
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, sothat they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11)
Didn’t Jesus desire that we become one and in so doing be the impetus to bring the world to the Father? Wasn’t the heart of His message rooted in His people becoming one?
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. (John 17:20-23a)
Pray for Jorge aka Pope Francis
It would be foolish and simple minded to think that this unity will be uncomplicated and easy. Like everything in God the starting point is prayer. If only because it is worth believing for it rather than keeping things they way they are.
Why is it that we are willing to believe for the most impossible of things and are not willing to believe what Christ Himself prayed for?
Though you may not be a Catholic pray for Pope Francis as he leads the Catholic Church. My personal prayer is that his openness will result in a new generation Christians who will worship God in Spirit and in truth. A generation who will follow Jesus Christ – the God Jorge believes in.
Special thanks to the Inquistr for the photo above and quotations. If you want more good reading about Pope Francis’ leadership style, I recommend this article: What the GOP Can Learn From Pope Francis
From: Joey Bonifacio’s Blog – http://joeybonifacio.com/