Our nation, the great and beautiful United States of America, has just experienced a visit that seemed to capture not only national interest, but a great sense of awe on a personal level. The Pope visited our country.
From his first public appearance in Washington, D. C. to New York City and on to holding a mass for the masses in Philadelphia, it was both an individual and a national experience!
Early in his visit, a commentator said Pope Francis I spoke much as Jesus has spoken some 2,000 years ago when he said, “Let the little children come to me.” This was during his debut in Washington. You could see that play out during his entire visit.
Three of the Gospels speak identical words, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!” (New Living Translation)
Beginning on the very first parade route, probably very much to the excessive worry of all security personnel, Pope Francis did just that. From the multitude of babies he held, kissed and caressed to school age children seeking his interest all the way to the youngster who sang his first ever solo for the Pope on a parade route, he hid, indeed, let the children come to him.
Oh! And did you happen to see the babe in arms who was wearing a headdress patterned after the Pope’s own headdress?
In the weeks leading up to the much anticipated event, some from our immediate area who would be in attendance in Philadelphia were interviewed on local news stations. Imagine my delight when, as I watched with only half my mind on the news one evening, I saw a young man I knew. We had worked together at the jail several years ago. I had always admired him and his work ethic. Now here he was with his family, a part of the local entourage to see the Pope.
It seems to me Pope Francis’ visit to our country was perhaps the “shot in the arm” we needed to escape some of the daily combatant news, to get our minds fixed on something uplifting, even for a brief time.
If you are Catholic or not really doesn’t matter. You simply have to admire this leader of the worldwide Catholic church. It took a lot of nerve to give a speech in English when that is not your native tongue. In fact, he took English classes in order to this and he did it well.
He seems to be a “people person,” meaning that, next to God Himself, he loves people – people of all nationalities, all colors, all creeds. He just loves people and wants to know his friend, Jesus, as he knows Him.
Yes, let the little children come! You see, each of us is counted as one of God’s “little children” – despite our age and Jesus bids little children to come.
Yes, little children, come to Jesus. The Pope was here, uplifted us as a nation for a week and has now gone back to the Vatican. Jesus came 2,000 years ago, lived among mankind for a few years and returned to heaven by way of the cross. While here, He invited His little children (you and I who were not even born then) to come to Him.
Then He went on to heaven where He is preparing a place for us – a place where we will spend eternity with Him. There wouldn’t be room at the Vatican for us, but heaven’s space seems limitless. There is room for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ – all who have invited Him into their hearts.
Are you sure of your salvation? You can be. Just ask Jesus into your heart and believe!