Cultivating and energizing our love for one another

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A Google Photo  |  The coming of the Supreme Pontiff has renewed the faith of most Catholics and almost everyone across the faith community. It feels wonderful that with the new Pope a bright future is assured for all of us. We all know that he comes from Buenos Aires and his ascendance to the position was marked and defined by his simplicity; so much so that across the globe he is loved.
     His planned visit to Cuba before coming to Philadelphia will symbolize his love for everyone even those that are locked behind bars.  Surely the world will be watching his visit and dialogue with Cuba’s leaders and leaders from the Catholic faith in beautiful Havana.
Pope Francis in Manila, Philippines
     Meanwhile Philadelphia is feverishly anticipating his arrival. People from across the United States will be coming to our beautiful city; and for that little time that he will be with us: surely Philadelphia will likewise enjoy the “free global publicity” as the international press corps will descend upon the City of Brotherly Love.
     I think the Pope chose Philly because of our significance during the American war for independence but also because Pennsylvania was the only State that was welcoming to the native Indians.  At a time when settlers moved west and Indians felt beleaguered their only wish was to come to Pennsylvania to be safe. This atmosphere was espoused by the Quakers who believe in the goodness of every man, woman and child.
If ever there was love and compassion shown among the people and the natives who were settling the land, I am proud to say that it all started in Pennsylvania. Love of community, started also in Pennsylvania so much so that our leaders convinced the other American leaders at that time to sign the most important document, the Declaration of Independence that removed ourselves from England. Without this document, it was a death warrant for all of them had King George and his redcoats won the war.
Rewind to how America got started: suffering from religious persecutions a group of people calling themselves Puritans braved the seas and went to an unknown land suffering the elements of the Atlantic and made landfall in Massachusetts. Not knowing the timing of the seasons, they arrived just before winter and if it were not for the so-called “Good Indians” many of them could have perished on their first winter.
This act of the “Good Indians” bringing them food, blanket and other provisions for winter is I believe native and innate in every person’s heart. There is always a kind of goodness in us because we are all humans and our love for God tells us to be compassionate for others.
     Fast forward to today, we see gruesome scenarios broadcasted live of tv and the newspapers of people fleeing for their lives from war torn Syria, Afghanistan and economic refugees from Pakistan and other places.  The right to life is every fundamental right of every human being and though as it may look right now, European leaders are burning the midnight candle to find a solution to the migration issue.
     Surely, after the Philadelphia visit Pope Francis will be very busy attending to this issue because many of the refugees are Christians that are persecuted for their faith in their homeland.
     So lets us be glad and celebrate the coming of Pope Francis, the most popular and well-loved Pope for bringing his blessings upon our city and our people.  In our hurried existence we sometimes forget the true meaning of love and the need to re-energize ourselves and our love for our fellowmen. Pope Francis’ coming visit is surely a much welcome chapter in the live of our city and our lives. This is a monumental event that surely will resonate in our minds and in our hearts for many years to come.
Let us reflect of this beautiful passage the Apostle John wrote to us:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35