Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

May I Walk with You? What’s Not Sad

I listened intently as Pope Francis’s interview with Nora O’Donnell aired on CBS on May 20, 2024. I was glad to hear that the Pope and Ms. O’Donnell discussed many questions about how we ought to live our lives on moral issues that confront our world and society today. It was gratifying to hear that we ought to love one another, especially the poor, migrants, children, and homosexuals. I thought the Pope did a great job of explaining his positions on these matters, as well as his call for peace and the end of all wars everywhere. He was also quite direct when responding to the notion that women could be ordained with an emphatic, “No”. He quicky affirmed the notion of climate change, mother earth, and everyone’s responsibility for caring for the earth. This was great stuff, holding true to Scripture and Church Teaching. Yet, “Who am I to judge?”
I was, however, greatly disappointed in that the Pope did not take the opportunity, with a world-wide audience to evangelize. While telling us that we ought to love one another, he seemed to only allude to the Great Commandment, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, your soul and your mind.” Most of the interview focused on how we ought to, “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” It was upsetting to me. The focus was not on Jesus and his primary role as the Lord of our lives, Creator of the universe, and Savior of the world, along with personal salvation. There was no call to admit sinfulness, no call to repentance. There was no call to reorder our lives to live morally according to the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount and the teaching of the Apostles. There was no call to humbly enter into personal relationship with Jesus as a means of eternal life in heaven.
Being and making disciples is not an option. Jeus said, “Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”(Matt 28:19-20) It is not enough to simply tell people to be nice to each other. Only becoming a disciple of Jesus allows us to enter into a life of ultimate happiness in heaven. We have the assurance we will live forever in happiness, if we pray this prayer. “Lord God, please forgive me for the things I have done wrong. I turn to you and turn away from sin. Jesus, please be the center of my life. I welcome you personally as Lord and Savior of my life. I ask you, Holy Spirit to fill me, and empower me to live as a child of God. I want to have your grace to truly live a new life. Thank you for hearing my prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (ChristLife) See you in heaven!
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you his peace.”

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