Day 119 – Thoughts on the Pope’s TED Talk

Yep — I’m gonna write about a Roman. Let’s do it.

The Pope gave a TED talk recently, and I felt like that was worth exploring. But before we get into what he said, allow me to quickly (and somewhat brutally) lay out my opinions on Catholicism:

  • I admire quite a bit of Catholic history and some Catholic theology, but not all. Definitely not all.
  • I am somewhat fond of Francis for reasons I can’t quite explain, even if I find the notion of the Pope being apostolic hilarious and absurd.]
  • I think Protestants do themselves a tremendous disservice in categorically tossing aside anything remotely “Catholic.” (And, of course, we simply pretend the Orthodox do not exist.)

I assume I just triggered some of you. Oh well.

Anyway, the Pope gave a TED talk, and he stressed the importance each individual person can have in making the better world a better place. The TED conferences are about the sharing of ideas, and so Francis brings an idea as old as time. Help people.

He quotes and explains the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and then says this:

Now you might tell me, “Sure, these are beautiful words, but I am not the Good Samaritan, nor Mother Teresa of Calcutta.” On the contrary: we are precious, each and every one of us. Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God. Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.

We do not agree on a number of important beliefs. Just above, I expressed my concerns about the office (and the rights it claims) he holds. But I read those words … and I am impressed, and I’m impressed because we live in a world unified by one phrase: “someone should take care of that.” It’s never my fault. It’s never my responsibility.

Do you want your world, your family, your church or your life to look different? That responsibility falls not to your neighbor, but to you. We all have work to do.

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