I had the blessing this morning on my drive into work to hear Pope Francis address the United States Congress. It was very interesting to me based on my perception of politicians and my perception of the Pope. I am very biased. I love my Catholic faith. I pray for the pope daily. To me he is the person chosen by God to protect the deposit of faith revealed through the church by Jesus. He leads, I do my best to follow in obedience.
Now I have shared before my bias of politicians. I do not think that they, in general, seek the common good of people but get caught up in the “what’s in it for me” type of leadership. It was a little tense for me to listen. There was applause with his messages but I can’t help thinking, through my own human nature of sinning, that many applaud out of kindness or respect yet think this old man is out of touch with the world.
I smile because THE POPE IS CATHOLIC! I am catholic and I get what he is sharing. It makes sense to me that he is speaking for the common good of all, especially children, families and the poor. I heard today that about 20-25% of the Congress is catholic. Yet, in my humble opinion, many of those catholics, parading around with him, do not share in the teachings of the church and the mission our pope is leading and that is very sad.
Today’s Gospel from Luke 9 has Herod trying to figure out Jesus. He has heard about the miracles and all that Jesus is doing. The people are telling him that John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, Elijah has appeared and one of the ancient prophets has arisen. Herod answers them “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he really wanted to see Jesus.
I wonder how many Herods in Congress got their opportunity today to see Jesus through Pope Francis? I can only hope and pray for a better outcome. And yes it is true in today’s Responsorial Psalm 149: “THE LORD TAKES DELIGHT IN HIS PEOPLE!” Thanks be to God that we have a merciful and loving God as it is a struggle for me to take delight in my brothers and sisters leading this country down a very dangerous path. But our Lord loves us all. We are blessed!