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Pope Francis: God is merciful, He remembers everyone
Seeing Jesus In The Broken, The Loser, The Outsider
When you are part of the cool crowd, it can be hard to break down that barrier and let others in, especially when you are young and the esteem of your peers means so much. This happens in too many church communities as well. We get comfortable with those we know, we fail to reach out to others who are on the fringes.
We hear about the problems in young people all the time. But, too few stories are told about the good kids. The ones who make the right decisions. The ones who reach out to those who need someone to acknowledge their existence and goodness.
The kids in the video below could teach us all something about seeing Jesus in those who are broken or outcast - the losers, the outsiders, and even those we don't like.
Pope Francis is also teaching us about this. He washes the feet of convicts, spends time talking with atheists, greets the average person with the same gusto as a head of state, and even kissed a horribly disfigured man with tenderness. In other words, he loves as Jesus did and asks us to do the same. During Holy Week he said:
"Following Jesus means learning how to come out of ourselves - as I said on Sunday - to reach out to others, to go to the outskirts of existence, to be the first to move towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are most distant, those who are forgotten, those who are most in need of understanding, consolation and help. There is so much need to bring the living presence of Jesus, merciful and full of love! "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross, which is not first of all that of pain and death, but of love and of self-giving that brings life. It means entering into the logic of the Gospel. Following, accompanying Christ, remaining with Him requires a "stepping outside" of ourselves, of a tired and routine way of living the faith, of the temptation to withdraw into pre-established patterns that end up closing our horizon to the creative action of God. God stepped outside of Himself to come among us, He pitched His tent among us to bring the mercy of God that saves and gives hope. Even if we want to follow Him and stay with Him, we must not be content to remain in the enclosure of the ninety-nine sheep, we have to "step outside", to search for the lost sheep together with Him, the one furthest away. Remember well: stepping outside of ourselves, like Jesus, like God has stepped outside of Himself in Jesus and Jesus stepped outside of Himself for all of us. "Some might say to me, "But, Father, I have no time", "I have so many things to do", "it is difficult", "what can I do with my little strength?", with my sin, with so many things? Often we settle for a few prayers, a distracted and inconsistent presence at Sunday Mass, a random act of charity, but we lack this courage to "step outside" to bring Christ. We are a bit like St. Peter. As soon as Jesus speaks of the Passion, Death and Resurrection, of self-giving, of love for all, the Apostle takes him aside and rebukes him. What Jesus says upsets his plans, seems unacceptable, undermines the sense of security that he had built up, his idea of the Messiah. And Jesus looks at the disciples and addresses Peter with perhaps one of the strongest words of the Gospel: "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do"(Mk 8:33). God always thinks with mercy: do not forget this. God always thinks with mercy: our merciful Father. God thinks like a father who awaits the return of his child and goes to meet him, sees him come when he is still far away ... What does this mean? That each and every day he went out to see if his son was coming home. This is our merciful Father. It is the sign that he was waiting for him from the terrace of his house; God thinks like the Samaritan that does not approach the victim to commiserate with him, or look the other way, but to rescue him without asking for anything in return, without asking if he was Jew, if he was pagan, a Samaritan, rich or poor: he does not ask anything. He does not ask these things, he asks for nothing. He goes to his aid: This is how God thinks. God thinks like the shepherd who gives his life to defend and save his sheep."
Fr. Barron comments on Gravity (spoiler alert)
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
An exclusive, in-depth interview with Pope Francis
An interview of Pope Francis by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadro has garnered a lot of press recently. Here is a link to America magazine's story about the exclusive interview with Pope Francis that took place over three days: Papal Interview
By Molly Martin of the Catholic Advance The St. Pius X Catholic Student Center at Pittsburg State University will host a centennial celebration Saturday, Oct. 5, after the homecoming football game. A Mass will kick-off the celebration about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the football game, which begins at 2 p.m. A cookout will be held after Mass. The centennial event is a celebration of 100 years of Catholic ministry on the campus of Pittsburg State University. The Newman Club is the official student organization of the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center and was recognized by the Kansas Teachers College, now Pittsburg State University, in 1917. According to witness testimony, the 50th anniversary was celebrated in 1962-63, so the Catholic ministry has been on campus since 1912-13. The Newman Club gained a permanent foothold at Pittsburg State when property was purchased in 1953 so students would have a place to congregate. This property was named the Pius X Chapel and Catholic Center. In 1968, the present facility was constructed and blessed by Bishop David Maloney. “Patronage of St. Pius X was chosen because of his papal motto, ‘Restore All Things in Christ,’” said Father Adam Keiter, chaplain of St. Pius X Catholic Student Center. “So the hope was that the students who participated in the various activities of the Newman Center would go out into the university campus and out into the world, taking with them the light of Jesus Christ...in other words, that all things would truly be restored through faith in Jesus Christ.” The St. Pius X Student Center, much like the St. Paul Parish and Newman Center at Wichita State University, is growing and preparing for the future. It is experiencing greater participation across the board in programs, and daily Mass attendance has continued to grow for the last three years. Currently, a crowd of around 35 students for daily Mass is normal, which for an operation of their size is “very good,” said Fr. Adam. “Pope Francis has repeatedly urged Catholics today to preach Jesus Christ to the world, particularly to those who find themselves on the fringes of society,” the chaplain said. “Well, the modern day secular college campus is a very good setting for such evangelization because of the nature of college.” “Young people today yearn for the truth, and especially young Catholics. So many want to know that the faith of their childhood is something more than what society says it is, so many want to believe that the truths of the faith that were preached to them are something more than archaic superstition or delusion,” Father Keiter said. “I have found that the Catholic Student Center fills this need quite well, as it provides for the Catholic college student a place of encounter with the living God through prayer and the sacraments. It gives the student a place of fellowship centered around a shared experience of the Catholic faith, and it offers an opportunity for formation in the faith, so that the faith may be expressed with a new ardor and conviction.”
Want to attend the centennial festivities at Pittsburg? Pittsburg State alums who wish to attend the celebration are requested to make reservations by today, Sept. 20. They may be made by calling the office at (620) 235-1138, by email at amy@catholic gorillas.org, or online by clicking on the centennial celebration graphic at www.catholicgorillas.org.