Holy Father, thank you for the challenge

photo-1420593248178-d88870618ca0Perhaps there are two Pope’s visiting America.

There is one I see on television, besieged by cheering crowds who clearly love him, for both the holy man he is and the Christian faith he represents.  People are grateful to simply get a glimpse, feel the warmth of his smile, bask in the joy of his love for others.

The other Pope is the one I read about in commentaries, hear analyzed by pundits on the airwaves and who seems to be claimed as an ally by every controversial social and political cause.

I choose to enjoy the first Pope, who is the Pope who tugs at my heart and challenges me – and perhaps you – to radical Christianity.

The professional politicians, commentators and news analysts were hoping for a Pope very different from the real one.  Perhaps there were expecting a politician, a conservative, a liberal, a Peronist, a bureaucrat or a community activist.

What they got – and what I welcome – is someone a lot more like Moses.

Moses wasn’t the guy any of us would have picked from the crowd to lead a nation.  But God picked him and gave him the ability to bring His people out of slavery, through the sea, across and desert and to the Promised Land.  At each step in the journey, Moses was unsure of the path ahead.  It took 40 years to get across the desert, so he clearly didn’t know what would happen from one day to the next.  His plan was totally dependent on faith.

Moses did know what lay at the end of the journey and he kept reminding the people:  a land of milk and honey.

Moses painted a beautiful, big picture – so does Pope Francis.

Pope Francis doesn’t speak of milk and honey.  He calls for a world where we follow the Golden Rule, truly love others as we would want to be loved.  In the Pope’s world, every life is precious, we care for the environment, we can freely live our religion, everyone has food and shelter, and people are more important than power or politics.

The Holy Father’s land of milk and honey is a land of compassion and justice.  Like Moses, he doesn’t have all the details, doesn’t know every turn in the road, must base his journey on faith.

He doesn’t know how to solve every conflict, mediate every political dispute or figure out how to replace oil with windmills.  He isn’t going to propose legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, but he will remind us that life starts at conception.

He has asked – and will continue to ask – us whether what we do with our lives moves the world toward the beautiful picture he paints.  He wants us to give our hearts and souls to this mission.

I am challenged – called – to do no less.  So are you.

About Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a writer and consultant. He lives in the Chicago area and has a wonderful wife, son and daughter. He enjoys fishing and occasionally catches something. He tries to play the piano and sings a little. In addition to writing for Regnum Christi Live, he blogs at Laughing Catholic. And you can follow him on Twitter: Jim Fair (@fishfair).
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One Response to Holy Father, thank you for the challenge

  1. Fr. Bruce Wren says:

    Nice article, Jim! Hope to see you again someday…

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