So, I’m not Catholic, but….
I’m becoming a pretty major fan of this Pope Francis guy.
Look, I’m far from Catholic. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, but I don’t dig many of their beliefs (maybe I undig some of them). Also, I’d want to be at a more exciting worship service than they typically offer.
Pope Francis is doing some heads-up things. We need to start paying attention to this guy. If you’re a leader of ANY kind and you follow or admire the teachings of Jesus, you need to start paying attention.
Here is a convenient list of things Pope Francis has done that I am loving.
- He took his pope name after St. Francis of Assissi – a guy who decided to forsake his family’s mega-wealth to follow Jesus, serve the poor, and look out for creation.
- He paid for his own hotel bill–in person–AND picked up his own luggage on the day after he was chosen Pope.
- He didn’t wear the crazy, royal-ish garb most popes get popified in. Instead he wore a simple, white cassock.
- He shared a minivan with several cardinals on the way to a dinner.
- He paved the way for me to put the word “cassock” in digital print.
And the number one thing that is making me a HUGE FAN of Pope Francis:
He is holding a Maundy Thursday afternoon mass in a chapel located in a youth prison!!! (Click this link: http://yhoo.it/ZNfKof) Most popes host those kinds of services in the Vatican. The swag-tastic Vatican is decked out to the nines. A youth prison is not. Youth prisons don’t have people who are willingly there. Everyone wants a piece of The Vatican. (You even capitalize the “The” in The Vatican!) Youth prisons don’t house a lot of hope. The Vatican houses the Pope, who is hopeful everyone turns Catholic.
Pope Francis is a shining example of what the light of Christ is supposed to be like. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” — Mathew 5:14-16
I’m pretty sure this guy smells a lot like Jesus.* This is totally something Jesus would do, to visit the imprisoned. In fact, Jesus tells us to do this in Matthew 25:31-40. Pope Francis is being an example of Jesus. He’s acting like a little Christ, which is just what we are all supposed to act like.
This is what the world needs to see from major Christ following leaders. Leaders need to start exhibiting this Jesus-y kind of humility. Collectively, Christ followers should follow this lead.
Protestants, let’s stop letting the world know that we aren’t Catholics and let’s start helping Pope Francis bring light into dark places.
“Go, Pope Francis! It’s your popeday! Go Pope Francis! It’s your popeday!”
Finally, I leave you with a gift. Here’s me, imagining myself going in on a high-five with Pope Francis. Enjoy!
*I really have no idea what Jesus smells like. Two thousand years ago, I presume that He smelled like a falafel.