POPE FRANCIS AND HOPES OF THE WORLD
FR. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
We are carefully looking at all actions of pope Francis which must arouse reactions of the world. Crowds of many thousand people, coming to the Square of St. Peter prove the fact that what the Holy Father says is very important, is a kind of a medicament so needed by the contemporary man. This Pope is slightly different than his predecessors, astonishes with his spontaneity, openness and – as we tend to say it more frequently – his obviousness of faith and a testimony of God’s presence in our life. We do not doubt that he is very close to God and a man and this closeness influences those who listen to him.
Normally, that is, effectively
Pope Franics says about matters which are ordinary, human, concern a man, a woman and a child, a human being who has his tasks and purposes and wants love and fulfillment. We are often even surprised that he enters details of life in such an ordinary way, that he makes us ask ordinary questions, both the ones concerning the big metaphysics and those which touch on marriage, family life, upbringing, etc. Thanks to this normal look at the world and the man, matters which are often difficult, become clear, understandable and possible to solve.
Today’s world needs normality, normality is needed in the life of an ordinary man. Since the first days of his permanent stay in the Eternal City, the Holy Father Francis has been trying to bring in this normality, promote it and appeal for it. It is proven by his telephone calls with ordinary people – the most ordinary way for communication for every contemporary man.
A telephone rang even in the least suitable moment, when we were observing the pilgrimage of Pope Francis to the Holy Land. And the character of the pilgrimage was very simple, it was a prayer meeting which will surely bring fruits in the political life of nations and ordinary people.
Francis and hopes of the world
The Holy Father invited two presidents to his House in Vatican: the president of Palestine – Mahmud Abbas and the president of Israel – Szymon Peres, in order to talk and pray together for peace on the earth, for a possibility of the ordinary human life for families, children and elderly people, tormented by political conflicts. For, how many things are happening only because somebody gave them such and such direction and entrenched with directives concerning life and behavior. Unfortunately, it does not bring people happiness or freedom. The contemporary man subject to enormous possession by media, gets subordinated to orders and order-givers very easily and is relatively an easy object for various kinds of manipulation. Paradoxically speaking, civilisational progress makes him quite a predictable sociological element and he is not aware of the fact how quickly he became a slave, a little pawn in a big game.
The Holy Father Francis is fully aware of the way of functioning of this colossal and astonishing machine of the world, enslaving humankind, causing that today we are dealing with people having enormous fortunes and wanting to rule over the others, as well as thousands of honest people living in a righteous way, dying from hunger or are trying to take the fate into their hands, are killed in the full sea, not having any help. Pope Francis shows the world salvation of the human being which the Gospel gives. It teaches us to love God and our neighbours, opens our eyes to Christ who is a Redeemer. However, these ordinary words, this showing normality to the man requires great faith and courage. Francis ‘infects’ us with this faith, wanting it to be a driving power for whole nations and particular individuals.
The upper Room – a sign of unity
The last time shows us pope Francis who arrives at the Holy Land, helping nations in conflicts realize the fact about a possibility to solve conflicts, reach agreements and develop. How much these unhappy, crying people need it while asking for help! Acceptance of invitations by the two presidents arouses great hope. Also the meeting with the patriarch of Constantinopole Bartlomiej I is a meeting of brothers, and the mentioned gestures were not only gestures, but giving the heart to each other, full of sincere, deep reflection and love, which is in the love of Jesus Christ, who wants the unity of God’s people – God’s flock of sheep. The Church wants this unity, every man wants this love. We, the Christians, should attract the world with such unity and give an example of the XXI century, that we must do everything in order to get more matured for love.
A significant symbol in the pilgrimage of pope Francis was the Holy Mass in the Upper Room, earlier excluded by various regulations, connected with historical complexity. Nobody doubted that this sign was very significant and very needed, especially by people in this part of the world, because it was a great call for love and brotherhood.
Francis and hopes of Europe
I would also like to look at the visit of the Holy Father in the Holy Land through the European prism. Europe does not mean the same as the European Union, Europe is a wider and much deeper term. Whereas the EU is a kind of structure which, looking for fulfillment, omits the identity of Europe. It is also somehow reflected in the recent elections for the European Parliament. A lot is said about extreme powers which have some achievements here, have seats in the parliament and will cause some debates and discussion in the European forum. Undoubtedly, such discussions are needed because many dispositions of the EU are unclear and we do not know exactly what paths are taken by the contemporary European emissaries. We are often surprised by decisions which are made in the Union, entailing serious consequences. These are also many odd demands or indications of the Union which, as one notices – have a particular feature: eliminating Christianity from Europe. Moreover the European Parliament is not completely clear structure for us. It seems that here some reforms are necessary. We do not have any influence on what would bring joy to the Europeans. So far, such joy has been brought by Christian faith which used to enliven hearts of particular people and bring joy to whole nations, especially at the moments of conflicts of crisis.
The current elections give some hope for renewal, that some unclear structures will be forced to be called by name. The newly elected for the European Parliament can cause a kind of shout in Europe, but some shout is necessary in Europe, in care for the truth, justice and honesty, for the Gospel. Because the Gospel of Christ teaches us ordinariness and good look at the man who wants to be himself, is created for spontaneity in love, for authenticity and the truth.
The person who teaches us today the search for the truth, the good and the beauty the most, is surely pope Francis. He shows today’s world this all what 2 thousand years ago Jesus Christ showed to people in his times. People do not even know that going to the Square of St. Peter to meet with Pope, come to Christ and are looking for what is the most important in life.
We hope that if Europe manages to awaken Christian ideas more, it will experience conversion and everything will start going on the paths of the Gospel – in a good direction.