The Humble Pope”, read the headlines everywhere last week, speaking of the new Pope, Francis. After being elected, he is still staying in the same hotel, instead of the royal suite reserved for him. When ordained a cardinal in Argentina, he chose to live in a small apartment rather than a mansion.
Instead of a chauffer-driven car, he chose public transport. He has chosen the name Francis, after the 13th c. St. Francis of Assisi, the great symbol of poverty, simplicity, and charity. And last week’s inaugural Mass was much simpler, and an hour shorter, than the baroque splendour of his predecessor Benedict’s inauguration in 2005. (He asked Argentinians to save their money and not buy tickets to Rome for his inauguration, but rather to give it to the poor.)
What does all of this tell you? – People are drawn to humble leaders. – We love those who are different from the norm in this power-hungry world, those who think little of themselves, who are meek and lowly, i.e., who have a servant-attitude.
Just one problem: Pope Francis is the servant of Rome, not of God. – He is the servant of a false church, that teaches a false gospel, a gospel of salvation by grace plus works, through faith plus works, in Christ plus works. – That’s a big problem.
Francis may be a servant, but he is Rome’s servant, not God’s. Where then can we find the great Servant-Leader that we long for, this ideal Man, the perfect Pastor, one who is humble-yet-mighty, one will bring real justice to a broken world and true healing to the nations?