In giving us Pope Francis, I feel that God is saying to us: “I want to make something new. I want to reform the church as a body and individually and I want you to make me the centre of your existence.”
In Pope Francis there are many new things. He is the first Jesuit to be elected Pope, He is the first coming from a religious order in more than 150 years (last one was Gregory XVI, 1831-1846). Though not the first non-European was St. Gregory III a Syrian (731-741).
It seems that God is telling us to let him make something new out of his church and each one of us. It seems that he wants us to let go of the many things that made us feel secure in our Catholic customs and traditions, and let him purify our beliefs. It is not the faith that must change, but the votes in favour of Pope Cardinal Bergoglio reached the two-thirds, Cardinal Hummes who was next to him, turned around, hugged him, kissed him and told him: “Remember the poor!” That phrase struck a chord. He will choose Francis in honour of the Saint of Assisi, who is symbol of peace, austerity and service to the poor. And these are the qualities in which the churchneeds to be renewed. Pope Francis himself, speaking to the journalists said: "I would like a church which is poor and working for the poor."
Many of us criticize the church for the riches that it might have and we say that she should think of the poor more. Let me ask you a question: You yourself, are you poor? Do you have a spirit of poverty? Because also you are the church and one cannot expect that the church will have a spirit of poverty without having the same spirit himself or herself. The church is not some corporation and we are the employees. The church is us and all of us need to be renewed. Each one of us needs to be an instrument of peace. Each one of us needs to have the spirit of poverty because our Lord and master was poor himself. Each one of us needs
to be a person of service on the example of Jesus Christ who impoverished himself so that we might enriched through his poverty.
These are nice things to say and to wish for, BUT we cannot be such persons unless Christ is the centre of our existence. He is the ONE who matters most; He is the One who can make a difference in our lives. Pope Francis himself said that it is Christ who is at the heart of the Church. What does this mean? It means that he has to be the only motivating force in our lives. Any other motivating force, will take us astray.