Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” — Pope Francis, if you haven’t been paying attention — went out for a spin one Sunday in Rome. It was one of his early forays into challenging Vatican security. He joined Rome’s Mother’s Day March for Life, both a celebration and a demonstration, making a point to the city, country, and world about love, family, faith and duty.
About a month later, Pope Francis presided over a Mass celebrating and reflecting on Pope John Paul II’s “Evangelium Vitae” (”The Gospel of Life”). “The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message,” Pope John Paul II wrote. “Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture.”
The “Gospel of Life” was a significant document, which helped bring evangelicals and Catholics together to support life politically and spiritually. The Gospel of Life was a welcoming ecumenical challenge to the conscience of every person of faith. And it continues to be so.
Even as technology makes it easier to both physically enhance and dispose of life, the individual must always be seen and served and cherished. Every person is made and loved by God, and if there is no other gift you can give this season, try showing that you see the Divine in another by being a conduit of God’s mercy and love.
There’s a lot being said about Pope Francis — inciting both glee and fear, depending on which selective quote or ideological disposition we’re talking about. You may remember that back when the first long interview with the pope was published, the media fixated on comments he made about how the Church often appears to the secular realm — as if all it says to the world is “no.”