Phoenix is more than 7,000 miles from Mosul. And yet as I sit and pray here in sunny Arizona, my heart turns to the beleaguered city in Iraq.
There is a close connection between service of the poor, freedom and evangelization. Catholic apostolates integrate service to the poor with joyful witness to Christ; they serve because they love Jesus. They freely receive God’s mercy; they freely give mercy to others in turn. They imitate Jesus in His solidarity with the poor.
At its best, media informs, inspires and engages. It creates unity and a common thread throughout a community, allowing people to share in the daily joys, sorrows and challenges of their neighbors. Media must provide for “an authentic culture of encounter” and serve to give voice to those on the margins of society.
You’ve seen them. Holding cardboard signs with scrawled pleas for help, they stand at freeway exits, hoping for a handout. Should you give them money? Should you circle around and return with food and water?
Last time we looked at what Pope Francis writes about Jesus in his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” Now let us consider what the Holy Father has to say about the Mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Chris Benguhe wants to know if what he writes about is “Catholic” enough. Make your voice heard in the comment box!
It should come as no surprise that Pope Francis has much to say about Jesus, since Peter and all his successors have been called by God to make Christ known and loved.
Pope Francis also hears their cry and has made service of the poor a top priority in his life and ministry. Repeatedly, since his election as pope, he has called for a Church of the poor, a Church for the poor. Let us see why pastoral concern for the poor is so important.
On the first day after he was elected pope, our new Holy Father traveled across the city of Rome to pray at the most important Roman Shrine of Our Lady, found in the Basilica of St. Mary Major. On the first day of the New Year 2014, Pope Francis again made an unannounced visit to this Marian Shrine. In the nine months of his papacy, he has made similar pilgrimages to pray to the Mother of God and ask her loving protection for the Church and the world.
Since his election on March 13 of this year, he has caught the attention of the world. Even non-believers and non-practicing Catholics are paying attention. Pope Francis surprises and inspires, even as he challenges us to love the poor and in them to meet Jesus anew.