In Pope Francis, I see a man truly being moved by the Spirit, the Advocate that Jesus promised to send to His disciples. In his present trip to the Holy Land, I see him again being inspired by the Spirit of Peace and Compassion. He stopped to pray before the massive concrete separation barrier that divides the Palestinian city from Israel. Here is a man full of love, compassion and bearing a message of peace praying before a wall of anger, hatred and intolerance.
A few weeks ago, moved by the Spirit of Love and Justice, he called on governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the “economy of exclusion” that is taking hold today. He has always taken up the cudgels for the poor, the oppressed and those in the fringes and peripheries of society.
Early in his papacy, he has challenged all of us to live the true spirit of the Gospels – love and compassion. He has called on all of us to get out of our comfort zones, to go out to the peripheries, to get our feet and hands dirtied in seeking out and serving the least, the lost and the last among our brothers and sisters.
He has been a true harbinger of hope, joy and peace. He has shown love and has expressed it in the most ordinary manner; like calling up people who have reached out to him in their distress, or embracing a totally deformed man in paternal love, or taking selfies with people he was called to prayer.
I thank God again and again for the gift of Pope Francis in our lives today. He is a man who truly lives and loves with, under and through the light of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate Christ has promised his disciples.
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”