Having a brand new pope during important feasts such as Easter really is like watching the new kid at school from the back row, and seeing what he’ll do. Will I like him? Will he like me? Will he take over the school? Will he be a bully? Or will he be bullied? Will we be friends?
Well this student is glad to say that so far, it’s all good. Personally, I’m not waiting for him to slip up – in fact, I am delighting in learning more about this figure, and I suspect that many people are in a similar position to me.
“What’s the pope going to do next?”
“Which Vatican protocol is he going to waive now?”
“Who is he going to embrace spontaneously?”
Most recently, my thoughts were what he had to say at the homily he preached for the Easter Vigil.
Several comments may be made. The first being that he seems to speak in such a way that is not what I would expect from a pope. He speaks in simple sentences, yet they pack a punch.
Someone recently made a joke about Jorge Mario Bergoglio not really being a Jesuit, but because of his preaching, is really a Faithful Companion of Jesus! It was in reference to his message of tenderness that he preached at his Inauguration Mass. Today I came across yet another “FCJ quality” that Pope Francis clearly believes in and possesses. The phrase to which I refer is:
Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do. | Pope Francis (Easter Vigil Homily, 30 March 2013)
In parallel is the following:
‘Courage and confidence, but above all great confidence’ was a variation on the theme which appears in almost every personal letter she wrote. Clearly it was a prayerful wish she offered others. | Marie Madeleine – Her Life (FCJ Website)
Together with Pope Francis then, may we all endeavour to live our lives courageously and confidently, for God’s greater glory. May we be daring in our efforts for reconciliation, brave in our fight for the poor and marginalised, and may we do all these from a deeply felt knowledge of the heart that God our Eternal Companion is always with us and for us.
Jesus no longer belongs to the past, but lives in the present and is projected towards the future; he is the everlasting “today” of God. This is how the newness of God appears to the women, the disciples and all of us: as victory over sin, evil and death, over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human. And this is a message meant for me and for you, dear sister, dear brother. How often does Love have to tell us: Why do you look for the living among the dead? | Pope Francis