Yay Pope Francis! My theory on why he’s such a phenomenon…

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

image from USAToday
image from USA-Today

I’ve been thinking about this huge focus on the “Pope Francis visit” to the United States. There’s a lot of hoopla, the predictable over-the-top media obsession, curious commentary by pundits who are suddenly experts on the Roman Catholic branch of Christianity, and then this slightly disturbing elevation of a humble human being to a kind of earthbound divinity.

There are several reasons, in my estimation, for the phenomenon:

  1. Pope Francis makes a nice distraction from the incessant absurdity of the increasingly annoying and way-too-early 2016 presidential race.
  2. The juxtaposition of a truly humble servant and the powerful, fabulously rich, deeply bureaucratic, often corrupt, monolithic, worldwide empire that Francis leads is a fascinating anomaly.
  3. Most people know – at the core of their being, and irrespective of either atheism or religious affiliation – that the way we live, our devotion to materialism, our essentially godless approach to day-to-day life, our inherent selfishness, our exploitation of the environment, our ransacking of the world’s resources, and our intractable preoccupation with ideological narrow-mindedness, runs contrary to the Creator’s vision of what is best for both us as individuals and the world God loves so profoundly.

Most people know – at the core of their being, and irrespective of either atheism or religious affiliation – that the way we live, our devotion to materialism, our essentially godless approach to day-to-day life, our inherent selfishness, our exploitation of the environment, our ransacking of the world’s resources, and our intractable preoccupation with ideological narrow-mindedness, runs contrary to the Creator’s vision of what is best for both us as individuals and the world God loves so profoundly.

In consequence, with a mixture of tabloid-esque fascination and a soul-searching desire to know a deeper truth, millions of people are drawn to watch, to listen, and to ponder the meaning of life.

time-person-of-the-year-cover-pope-francisSO WHAT? That’s all good. But what bothers me is the fact that so many Americans who classify themselves as “Christian,” or who own a belief in God, live so far away from spiritual truth in their day-to-day lives that this pope’s refreshingly authentic relationship to God strikes them as something out of the ordinary.

So here is my challenge, friends, family, and readers: Live that way too!

We’re not talking about something mysterious, out of reach, or otherwise limited to a select few “saints.” We’re talking as living, each and every day, as passionate followers of Jesus.

Jesus himself outlined this very simple principle in John 14:15-19:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you. I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too.”

meme francis
from Pinterest page

Yay for Pope Francis! Prodigious!

Now just imagine if we all moved forward, from this moment, as more intentional disciples!

– DEREK

culture faith God Live Like You Mean It

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I don’t disagree, but I am concerned as to why his speech to Congress will focus on climate change while seemingly ignoring the persecuted Christians in the Middle East as well as the millions of unborn that are slaughtered each year. I’m thinking there has to be a balance here.

    Like

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