I had to smile last week when I saw the brief video clip of Pope Francis in Mexico yelling at whoever pulled at his arm and sent him toppling onto a young man in a wheelchair.
No, I’m not celebrating the infliction of pain.
But isn’t it just so “us?” To be so eager to touch the celeb that we completely forget about the message of peace and mercy the man is preaching?
So greedy to get one of the free rosaries he’s handing out that we forget what they’re often used for, to pray for peace, to pray for others?
More, More, More, Said the Baby is the title of a children’s book, but so often, wouldn’t you say it’s the mantra of our lives?
I have to wonder if one of the reasons the current election is so heated is because we’re so greedy for more, more, more. So ready to knock anyone threatening our goodies out of our way, and the common good (does anyone think about the common good anymore?) be hanged.
Nearly said “damned,’ but this did start out as a post about the Pope. Though, as that fall shows us, he can lose control of his temper. Like the rest of us. Sure he got mad. If I were almost 80 and somebody knocked me over, I’d be pretty ticked, too. It’s to his credit that all he shouted was, “Don’t be selfish! Don’t be selfish!”
Which is another point. The Pope is like the rest of us. He’s not God, he’s not Jesus, he’s not a saint, and he’s not supposed to be worshipped. Listened to, if we will, because of what he represents, not because he’s a superstar.
But isn’t it just like us, to be so excited by the presence of power that we overlook its message. Ignore the fact that grabbing onto the Pope’s coattails, so to speak, isn’t going to get us anywhere. We have to actually do the work. Practice the mercy he’s advocating, for instance. Which loosely translates as looking out for others.
(Felix de Weldon (US-american): Monument to Richard Kirkland, 1965, Fredericksburg. This sculpture depicts the well known incident in Fredericksburg where a Confederate soldier, Sergent Richard R. Kirkland, risked enemy fire to bring water to the injured Union soldiers in front of Mayre’s Heights.)
Except–well, it’s a lot more fun to get a selfie with a celebrity.
And a free rosary.