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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

What does God want?...

Few weekday homilies make news the way Pope Francis’s daily homilies do. My eye was caught by the Catholic News Service headline that included the words “selfish, soulless, seafood splurge.” Caught! I took this picture on Ash Wednesday as I sat in the drive-thru at Long John Silver’s.

On the Friday after Ash Wednesday, preaching on the first reading from Isaiah 58, the pope reminded us that following the cultural customs of Lent isn’t enough.

There might be someone who thinks, “Today is Friday, I can’t eat meat, but I’m going to have a nice plate of seafood, a real banquet,” which, while appearing to be an abstinence from meat, is the sin of gluttony, the pope said.

I thought of this again over the weekend when I was helping my great-nephew with his religion homework. One of the questions was about ways to help the hungry and he was confused by the option “Pray for people who are hungry.” He said, “That won’t make them less hungry.” An astute observation for a 7-year-old!

The pope’s homilies are so effective because he has a great deal of pastoral insight. He’s spent time with his sheep. For more of his homilies and other writings, check out the new book The Spirit of Saint Francis. It would make good Lent reading. And watch the news for the next startling words from Pope Francis!

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."