Once again Pope Francis confused me! As a Vincentian reading the headline “Pope Francis surprises poor and homeless at new cardinal’s dinner” I had a doubt raised in my mind again. Is Pope Francis really a Jesuit? He certainly acts like a Vincentian. But then again at other times, I think he is a Franciscan.
The Pope’s surprise visit
The story beneath the headline reads…
As new Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the pope’s alms giver, was treating the poor and homeless of Rome to a dinner Friday night, Pope Francis surprised them with a visit and joined their celebration as a guest.
There was great celebration on Friday in the Vatican when some 280 poor people were invited to a dinner by new Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the official almsgiver of the Pope, who was made cardinal by Pope Francis at the Consistory the previous day, June 28th.
Pope Francis surprised Cardinal Krajewski, his guests, and volunteers with a visit and joined them at table at the Vatican employees’ canteen. “I came for the poor, not for you,” a smiling Pope told Cardinal Krajewski, popularly known as Fr. Corrado (instead of Konrad) to the poor he serves on behalf of the Pope.
The Holy Father dined with the poor and spent about two hours chatting with them as if in a family, listening to their stories that often told of suffering but also of hope.
I should not be surprised
Actually, with actions like these most religious communities in the Church could say “That sure sounds like our founder/foundress.” All of these men and women were deeply imbued with the spirit of “whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters you do for me”.
What we can learn
Pope Francis really gets it. He understands what Jesus did at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples and asked them the question, “Do you understand what I have done?”
Pope Francis practices what he preaches. In virtually every homily and other forms of communication, he reminds us of the forgotten ones, those on the margins of society.
We should not be confused by his similarity with the really great figures, not only in Christianity but in other religions. They all understand that we are created equal no matter where we are born, or what the color of our skin is. We are all made in the image and likeness of the God who created us.
Raising personal questions
- Who sits around my table of friendship?
- How would anyone know that I believe we are all created in the image and likeness of our creator?