10 Years of Francis: Inviting us to be adult disciples
Fr. Jorge Serrano, SJ is a Columbian Jesuit who served at the Curia in Rome for more than a decade. His testimony is today’s personal reflection on Pope Francis’ papacy.
As I recall the ministry of my namesake, who wanted to be like the poor of Assisi, to serve the world and the Church, I find that the greatest ministry of Pope Francis is to be found NOT in his policy positions on the issues that shake humanity in the 21st century - the threat of nuclear war, famine, LGBTQ+ issues, migrants, the abuse of minors and the vulnerable, care of the plant, or any of the other issues that occupy the front pages of news and social media. It’s true that those policies have generated controversy and started vigorous conversations about issues that were previously whispered in the dark, but that is not what makes Pope Francis’ papacy important.
Francis’ great contribution to all humanity, not just to Catholics, is his invitation for us to act as adults. To leave behind the infantilism in which we have taken refuge. To be responsible for our own actions. To say “Enough!” to those imitation leaders who impose values on us and try to control all parts of our lives economically, politically and spiritually.
Pope Francis has focused his ministry on the call for every believer to enter into an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus - to speak to Him “as a friend speaks to his friend.”
That is a real revolution.
Those four words, as seemingly simple themes, could be used to describe the papacy of Pope Francis that started 10 years ago today. Though the world has changed much in the last decade, Pope Francis has consistently asked for people of good will...
“I first met our Pope Francis when I entered the Society in Argentina. During my almost 3 years there, “Padre Jorge” was my Rector and we lived in the same house. Right from the beginning, we were all amazed at his creativity...”
“MAGIS is an Ignatian value that is willfully embraced and embedded within me. It has become an integral part of me and my daily life, which in turn leads me to serve Our Lord and His people in Guyana. Pope Francis’ Papacy has underscored for me...”
“Pope Francis and I actually share a special date. On the morning of Wednesday, 13th of March, 2013, I met with the Jesuit in charge of vocations in my area and asked to join the Jesuits. His Papacy has accompanied my formation ever since...”
“Shaking Pope Francis’ hand, I am most struck by his tenderness in action. Rewind. It was the summer of 2019 and I was interning for the office of communications at the Jesuit Curia in Rome. One afternoon, word got around that there would be a low-key papal visit...”
“It is 13 March 2013. I am parish priest in Matero, a sprawling poor neighborhood of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. More than 10,000 kilometers away in Rome, the cardinals are in conclave. I have just celebrated evening Mass and I am chatting away with parishioners...”