Resurrected Hearts Reproduce

A month or so ago, I was meandering through facebook, and I saw a post by an old friend (OK, I think at my age, it might be better to start using “friend of old” here) about Pope Francis. Now, I have facebook friends from very different perspectives. I have facebook friends from my youth and younger days, who are good people finding their own way of living life and somehow knowing God without much or any of the Catholic Church. Then there are the people I’ve met really in the Church over the last 14 years, priests and laypeople who go to church a lot. Then, there are the people from Latin America, who speak another language, and are from a totally different culture. There are basically three very different and separate worlds all together in my friends list. So, when a friend from of old posts about a Latin American pope, it’s a sort of apocalyptic convergence for me.

So this post went something like this: I have left the Catholic Church a long time ago, but I really like this Pope, because he is very Christlike.

You know, I see this all the time, people who are not church-type people being touched, attracted, and moved by Pope Francis. Even atheists. What’s happening?

When Pope Francis was very young, he was made the leader of all the Jesuits in his country, Argentina. At that time, he was a pretty authoritarian guy. Tell people what to do, people should follow doctrine closely. Not a listener, but a commander, with his plans, his ideas for what’s good for the Jesuits. This got him on the bad list of a number of fellow Jesuits. Eventually, he was sent away from his post in Argentina, in a form of exile and humiliation. After that time away in crisis mode, he eventually came back. But when he did, he was a changed man and a servant.

He had a resurrected heart.

Now, you may wonder why he took the name Francis when he was made pope. Well, the story of Francis has a lot in common. Francis lived in Assisi. If you’ve ever been to Assisi, you have probably spent time in this amazing, still-medieval village half-way up a mountain. On the top of the mountain is a castle. That is where the nobles lived. On the bottom was where all the lepers and sick and poor, all the outcasts. That was the place of exile and humiliation.

Francis had great dreams of moving up the mountain. He wanted to be a noble knight, and he got himself prepared and went off to battle promising glory. He came back a short time later with his tail between his legs, having never even reached the battlefield because of illness. Not a knight, not a nobleman. In fact, not even in the middle class anymore. He was ready for the bottom of the mountain. Exile and humiliation. It’s there, in that time of crisis, of exile and humiliation, that everything changed for Francis. Or rather, everything about Francis changed, and he was about to change everything. When he came out, he was a changed man and a servant.

He had a resurrected heart.

Now, see that wasn’t the end for Francis. Within a short time, he had another 5000 men and countless women going to the bottom of the mountain and getting resurrected hearts. And they loved to be at the bottom of the mountain and serve others, lift others up. There was no vocations director, there was no online advertising, no new-evangelization programs, or Disciples in Mission, or pro-life action initiative. They weren’t protesting the brokenness in the culture or advising strangers on their sexual practices, or defending church structures. Because resurrected hearts are not made or produced or convinced or informed or commanded, or even invited, into existence. No, resurrected hearts are alive and have a power all to themselves.

Resurrected hearts reproduce.

When people respond to Pope Francis, it means that, somewhere in their heart, somewhere off the radar screen of everyday life, they want to go down the mountain of life and come back like him. They want what he has, they want a resurrected heart, too.

Reproduced in them.

As you look around, there will always be a voice that points out all the negatives. And you may notice that the world, the church, basically everything, has problems. There are military and terrorism problems, racism and other discrimination tensions, family and divorce problems. A lot of the leaders in the church will tell you what is wrong with the culture today. Things are probably a mess in the politics you notice, you might have stuff to deal with work-wise, whether it’s unemployment or a horrible work environment, or a career going nowhere. Whatever the problems that you notice, whether you’ve got a good case of discouragement or a fire to make a difference, I have a little advice.

Follow Francis. Follow Christ.

Don’t be afraid of coming down the mountain of life, and having a resurrected heart born inside of you.

Resurrected hearts reproduce.

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)

Pope Francis Kissing Sick Man


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