I'm not Catholic, never have been, never will be...but I've been following the news of the new Pope since his election to see how he'd do in his first days and thus far I'd have to say that I'm impressed.
He seems to be a very humble man with a heart for Jesus and a heart for people. His refusal to live in opulence while others live in poverty was the first thing that impressed me. Then his comment about the church, how it should be poor because it's using its assets to help those in need. He more or less condemned the church for hoarding wealth while the people are starving. His heart seems to be truly where it should be and I have to say that it's a relief to finally have someone in a place of power who doesn't appear to want to abuse that power.
I know it's not good to place our hope in a person- and I'm not- but it gives me a little bit of reassurance that God hasn't left us completely to our own evil devices just yet...that there is still hope in our Savior and it's being expressed through those who are willing to give up all for the Kingdom.
Pope Francis made some comments in Rio this morning that were bold and probably upset many in the Catholic community. He told the Church to watch the young- that the youth were the future of the church, that the church needs the energy and joy of the young to shake things up. He said the church needs to stop following the status-quo, to get out of our comfort zones, to reach the lost and get back to a more simple Gospel that ordinary people can relate to. A gospel based on love, grace, mercy, and above all else, truth.
I believe that he's right. The church as a whole has dropped the ball, lost its connection with people. The church also seems to have forgotten that the WHOLE CHURCH is the army of God. We need to set aside our differences and work together as one, united for the cause of Christ. It shouldn't matter what building we gather in each week for worship, or what pastor leads us, or what name is on the front of that building. If we are Bible believing, God fearing, Jesus loving Christians then we need to be willing to work with others to lead the lost to the fold and stop worrying about unimportant doctrinal differences that we may have. What matters in the end is Jesus...plain and simple.
Reach the lost for Jesus, not for the Baptist, the Protestant, the Catholic, the Methodist, or any other denomination...it's ALL about Jesus!