By: Rev. William Casey, C.P.M.
Truly, we are living in historic times for the Church and for the world. On Divine Mercy Sunday, we witnessed the canonization of two beloved Popes: Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II. Last year, we saw the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of Pope Francis.
I must say that I truly love Pope Francis, and in spite of the fact that the secular media will always attempt to twist and distort his words in order to use them against him and against the Church, there is no doubt in my mind that he is going to do great things for the Mystical Body of Christ.
One of the things I love most about Pope Francis is his obvious humility. He is a simple, humble, unassuming man but at the same time he is known to be a world class theologian. Of course, he took the name Francis in honor of the holy St. Francis of Assisi: his humility, his simplicity, his great love for the poor and the poverty of his own life. But most of all, because Saint Francis began his public ministry in the 13th Century after having had a mystical experience, an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord said to Saint Francis, “Rebuild my Church!” … “my Church is in ruins …rebuild my Church!” That is why, in his first homily as Supreme Pontiff, which he delivered the day after his election, Pope Francis put out a call to all the faithful, the people of God everywhere to help him rebuild the Church! God knows there is a lot of rebuilding to be done.
The question for all of us is this: how do we answer the Holy Father’s call to help him rebuild the Church? Obviously, we must start with ourselves. We start by building and rebuilding our own spiritual lives. We do it by answering the call that god has given to each one of us to be men and women of faith, prayer and devotion. Not just “good people” or ‘nice people.” That of itself is not going to get anyone to heaven. That is not good enough in the sight of Almighty God. For us, our practice of our Catholic Faith has got to be more than that. It has got to go deeper than that. Let us not forget that we are called to be a holy people! God calls his people never to content with spiritual mediocrity, but to recognize one of the fundamental facts of our existence: that we are called by God and created by God to be SAINTS!