Wow! What a remarkable week in the history — a week “created” by the presence of Pope Francis in the U.S., his speech to the Congress, to the Bishops of the US, and before the UN.
The images of the tiny black Fiat and the converted Jeep Wrangler — Popemobile.
The restatement in simple — and powerful tone — of the age-old Golden Rule.
Going to a Catholic Charities feeding program rather than dining with political leaders.
The gentle request for prayer — and to those who do not believe or who cannot pray — to send well wishes.
It is almost too much to absorb at one time or in one week. Reading, reflection, prayer — are needed by us all.
AND ON TOP OF IT, the Scripture for this weekend fits oh so well with the message being proclaimed by Pope Francis.
“Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of host. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; ….” [James 5:1-6]
“Moses answered … ‘Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all.” [Numbers 11:25-29]
“There is no one who performs a might deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.” [Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48]
Pope Francis calls us to act for a common good — based on our common beginning and our common destiny. He reminds us that we must want for all the children of the world what we want for our own children.
When people get in the way — they must step aside. When we build walls we prevent encounter. Perhaps, maybe — who really knows — did Speaker John Boehner step aside believing that he himself was a polarizing figure?
Jesus is very graphic and dramatic in the Gospel Reading when he speaks about what we must do when a member of our body is the cause of sin! CUT IT OFF — CUT IT OUT. Get over it and get over yourself.
The Lord God in the reading from NUMBERS does not seem to care who gets the credit. Nor does he seem to be concerned how one GOT THE SPIRIT. When we worry about who gets communion and who does not — when we worry about how one holds his/her hands — when we worry about or question the state of someone’s soul —— we are worrying about things that might seem important to us —- but are totally irrelevant to GOD! Everytime I hear a priest — before communion — give the message about who is WORTHY to come to communion and how those who “cannot receive communion” are invited to make a spiritual communion —- I cringe. “Poor fella”, I wonder, “he best sit down.”
Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus — atheists — must find a way to do GOD’s work.
We have a unique opportunity as believers in the US to be different from where we were a week ago. If we are not, the Pope’s trip was for naught. All the security measures and costs — were for show — a waste of money.
If the Pope did not believe that he could make a difference or would make a difference, I believe he would have stayed in the Vatican. He does not seem to be one who does things for show — and he does not want to waste time or money.
The shepherd has spoken — let us follow.