This is something I loosely pieced together for my church’s blog. It’s on Pope Francis and “welcoming the stranger.” Every day that passes, I just keep getting more and more disgusted with how things are going in our political process. I hate that we are hardwired for negative, dumb stuff, when we should be focusing on so many other things.
I saw a tweet today that said, “The world is an easier place since everything stopped mattering.” It’s sad, but I can kind of see his point. (The tweet was in response to an article that said Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wanted to run for president.
There’s something to be said that we as a country nominated two people with such high unlikeability ratings for president. Is it really hard to find a likable person to run for office? Serious question.
Even though I’m going to vote for Clinton, I’m not all that excited about her. She’s smart and a policy wonk, but the email stuff still kind of bothers me. I’ll say this, it’s the least excited I’ve been about a major party candidate in my voting lifetime. And I’m glad the media is beginning to really push down on Trump for his double talk, his lies, his whining, and his racism. It’s not even amusing anymore. It’s just scary.
This kind of rambled, but it brings me back to Pope Francis. More leaders should have his compassion. I wonder if he could be elected anywhere. Probably not. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I just think we don’t value compassion enough in our political process.
If there is one term that has defined Pope Francis’s leadership, it’s probably the word compassion. Amidst a contentious U.S. election cycle with venomous words towards immigrants, it’s refreshing to see a global leader speak with grace and compassion.
I was particularly impressed with his recent trip to Mexico where the Pope said Mass at a Mexican border city. And I was also impressed when he took 12 refugees back to the Vatican after a trip to Greece. He literally “welcomed the stranger.”
In a recent address to priests, he affirmed the need for mercy:
“Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy, for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives
our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in his name. Nothing strengthens
our faith more than being cleansed of our sins.”
Mercy is not a real strong issue to run a political campaign on. Even though Francis is not up for reelection, it is refreshing to see a leader speak openly and freely about that issue.There is tendency for the public to want a narrative condensed into easy-to- understand issues. With all the different issues facing the millions of displaced persons, a streamlined narrative is nearly impossible.
That’s why, in this Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church, it’s important to remember compassion in all ofour dealings, especially with strangers
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