Last Wednesday’s Gospel (Lk 9:1-6) at Mass was so fitting for the Holy Father’s full day in D.C. That is the passage where the Lord tells the Apostles to “take nothing for the journey” but the authority and power he gives them. Pope Francis’s universal popularity is based, in large part, to his simplicity and poverty, and that he takes hardly anything for the journey. The simple, little Fiat car he used was a huge hit with people everywhere in our country! He hasn’t brought much materially to the United States but has brought the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
In my opinion, the key word surrounding the excitement and power of his visit is authority. People universally and inherently acknowledge the authority of the office of the Pope. That is why it’s completely exciting when any pope visits the U.S.! The authority of the pope is, of course, the authority of Jesus Christ. It is the authority of heaven. That is the authority that people respect. And, it is the authority with which he spoke to the Congress. As important as the offices of our congressmen, congresswomen, and senators are, the office of the pope dwarfs them. His unique presence at the podium of the Congress and heavenly perspective clearly showed that. It was a sight to behold for all American Catholics!
–Sincerely in Christ, Fr Greg