There are many reasons why I like Pope Francis. I am joking when I say he really is a Lutheran, but I do believe he is one of the most "human" Christians in our world today. What I mean by this is that he lives his life in a fully human way. This is how God created us to be: fully human.
No, the Pope is not by any means perfect, and I imagine he would be the first to say so, but he does things that make me proud of the Church. He says things that are profoundly Biblical, thoughtfully theological and incredibly loving. Yet this man pulls no punches when he confronts injustice, greed, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and, yes, even sexism. That last one is huge – coming from one of the most patriarchal of religious institutions.
There are folks in our lives that are people we want to be like. They remind us of how good people can be when we live as God created us to be. God knows, in this sinful and broken world, that it is difficult to behave compassionately, when those around us are acting hatefully. Yet it is in our acting in a manner that shows the power and capacity of human beings to love one another as God created us to do.
Too often we hear about being human as a bad thing or a failing. This, I believe, runs right in the face of what God did, by sending God’s Son to be one of us. The Pope said that he, “looks to Jesus on how to live authentically and faithfully.” I am with Pope Francis on that one.
To be fully human is to live with the Spirit of Christ in us.
It is sin that obstructs us in our desire to live this way, but it is God’s Grace that makes it possible. God’s Grace can set us free to live out our humanity through love, kindness, mercy and forgiveness. Such are just some of the powerful gifts that God gives us humans.
(Check out Psalm 8)