The Baptism of the Lord
When Jesus entered the waters of the Jordan to be baptized by John He was setting the tone for all that would follow.
John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for sinners.
So by choosing to be baptised by John, by sharing in the baptism of sinners, Jesus deliberately put Himself among sinners as a brother – but He was (is) a brother who was (is) also the Divine Physician, the Saviour; a voice spoke from Heaven, this is my Son, the beloved.
Jesus put Himself among sinners, not to judge, not to condemn (this got him into difficulty), but to love, to attract to a better way of life, a new life, the life of God which every person can reach through repentance and conversion.
In many ways Pope Francis has chosen to walk on to the world stage in this way.
It’s amazing how many people accept the first part – the liberal left are all for Jesus as our brother – but choose to ignore the call to repentance and a new way of life!
True to form, the liberal left are misunderstanding Francis (because they misunderstand Jesus) and we’re witnessing the most amazing unfounded psychological projection of the liberal lefts desires on to Pope Francis.
Meanwhile, many traditionalists are a little confused.
It’s like being back in the days of Jesus!
Whilst I admire your aspirations to promote Christianity and love, I cannot help but be a little cynical about comparing this man with Jesus Christ.. The new pope might indeed appear to have a more ‘human’ charisma than the last guy, but he still chooses to live in vast wealth and ostentatious not to mention opulent surroundings, whilst not only do millions starve throughout the world, but due to the current recessional times, families struggle daily with poverty beyond all belief. And then we have the victims of past abuse, many of whom are still struggling for answers, compensation, apologies and closure. To me Jesus was love, unconditional love. It seems to me, that this new ‘sexy’ pope has arrived at a time when the world is pornified though media and social networking channels, and the people are now swayed by what Louis Walsh calls the ‘likability factor’, something that the previous pope could not manage to acquire; or as the cynics would say, an ‘x factor pope!’ It appears highly convenient at a time when the Catholic Church is on its knees, that this kind of Pope enters the arena, to try undo decades of damage, in trying to appear hip, humble and trendy. I do believe the world needs spiritual guidance, and I am all for unconditional love and peace amongst all men and women, and I hope he can help console his followers and encourage healthy change throughout societies that are rancid. However, I’m sorry to say, he is a far cry from a man who lived and died in poverty, and preached unconditional love, acceptance and tolerance of all. A humble man called Jesus of Nazareth.
I agree with much of your comment – especially the likability factor.
However, I wasn’t comparing Francis with Jesus Christ, rather the reaction of some liberals to Francis (a warm welcome but in my view the projection of their agenda on to Francis) and the reaction of some traditionalists (Francis is the anti-pope) with the reaction of Jesus to sinners (He welcomes them) and the reaction of some Jewish leaders to Jesus (this man can’t be Christ). Sorry I didn’t make that clear.
Regarding the matter of riches. Of course, Pope Francis could hand over the Vatican (to whom?) or sell to the highest bidder and give the money to the poor. Nonetheless the fact that Pope Francis lives in the Vatican tells us nothing about his inner disposition. Only God knows the heart – and He’s much more merciful than us! St. Francis de Sales speaks eloquently of this distinction.
Unconditional love? if you mean by unconditional that God’s love is always available, I agree. But if you mean that it doesn’t matter what we do (which I don’t think you mean) then I can’t agree. We must turn to God’s love – repent – we must enter God’s love, we must choose God’s love. Besides, Jesus is merciful rather than tolerant – there’s a difference – Jesus’ tolerance served one purpose; repentance and conversion.
Pope Francis will not undo the damage – faithfulness to Christ will do that, nothing more, nothing less.
Abuse? Shocking. I’ve written before that the Church is holding a mirror up to society. This is a massive problem. The Church is the point of entry.