Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Benedict in England

As Pope Benedict was heading to England he took a few questions from reporters on the plane including this exchange:

"Can anything be done to make the Church a more credible and attractive institution?"

“In my view”, the Pope replied, “a Church which seeks above all to be attractive is already on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for herself, she does not work to increase her numbers and her power. The Church is at the service of Another. She serves not herself, not to become strong; rather, she serves to make the announcement of Jesus Christ more accessible: the great truths, the great powers of love and reconciliation which appeared in Him and which always come from the presence of Jesus Christ."

So many Christians and churches today are focused on their stat sheets. They judge success by how many people then can convert or get to join their congregations. Pope Benedict brushes those things aside and draws our attention back to our main focus, being Jesus to those around us. Jesus was not concerned about numbers. When he healed the demoniac of Gerasene (Mark 5) the people there asked him to leave and he did. When he introduced the Eucharist in John 6 many left and he let them leave. He let the rich young man in Mark 10 walk away. Jesus knew his job was not to make friends and influence people, but to do the will of his Father. So too, the Church must not worry about who will follow us or who will walk away, but we must be true to God and faithful to his will in loving each other as Jesus loved us.

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