POPE FRANCIS

With the recent publication of Pope Francis’s new apostolic exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ we have an exciting challenge ahead of us for 2014! So many “firsts”. First pope to choose the name Francis; The first in centuries to live outside the papal palace; first to give a press conference. The first pope to tell the world so much about his inner life, including weaknesses, for which he expresses regret. Here is a man who learns from his mistakes and who clearly yearns to grow in holiness, which he associates with patience toward himself and everyone else as well. When Francis was recently asked: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He replied, “I am a sinner . . . whom the Lord has looked upon. . . . I am one who is looked upon by the Lord.”
For our new Pope the vital thing is to know oneself as a loved sinner – where the adjective is more important than the noun. And God’s work is always done by graced sinners who rejoice in being called just as they are. Again and again since his election the message of Pope Francis is simple and profound: we who follow Jesus must meet people on their own terms rather than on ours. Love for the other comes first.
Since March 13, 2013 we have learned that Francis preaches this message more through his actions and style than by his words. This is why the world has opened its heart to him – because he has so opened his heart to the world. Everything else is then possible and yes – possible here in Melbourne 2014! We are sent with the joy of the Gospel!
Br Mark O’Connor fms Archbishops Office for Evangelisation Enews February 2014

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POPE FRANCIS

With the recent publication of Pope Francis’s new apostolic exhortation ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ we have an exciting challenge ahead of us for 2014! So many “firsts”. First pope to choose the name Francis; The first in centuries to live outside the papal palace; first to give a press conference. The first pope to tell the world so

much about his inner life, including weaknesses, for which he expresses regret. Here is a man who learns from his mistakes and who clearly yearns to grow in holiness, which he associates with patience toward himself and everyone else as well. When Francis was recently asked: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He replied, “I am a sinner . . . whom the Lord has looked upon. . . . I am one who is looked upon by the Lord.”
For our new Pope the vital thing is to know oneself as a loved sinner – where the adjective is more important than the noun. And God’s work is always done by graced sinners who rejoice in being called just as they are. Again and again since his election the message of Pope Francis is simple and profound: we who follow Jesus must meet people on their own terms rather than on ours. Love for the other comes first.
Since March 13, 2013 we have learned that Francis preaches this message more through his actions and style than by his words. This is why the world has opened its heart to him – because he has so opened his heart to the world. Everything else is then possible and yes – possible here in Melbourne 2014! We are sent with the joy of the Gospel!
Br Mark O’Connor fms Archbishops Office for Evangelisation Enews February 2014

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