If there is one term that has defined Pope Francis’s leadership, it’s probably the word compassion. Amidst a contentious U.S. election cycle with explosive words towards immigrants, it’s refreshing to see a global leader speak with grace and compassion.
I was particularly impressed with his recent trip to Mexico where the Pope said Mass at a Mexican border city. And I was also impressed when he took 12 refugees back to the Vatican after a trip to Greece. He literally “welcomed the stranger.”
In a recent address to priests, he affirmed the need for mercy:
“Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy, for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in his name. Nothing strengthens our faith more than being cleansed of our sins.”
Mercy is not a real strong issue to run a political campaign on. Even though Francis is not up for reelection, it is refreshing to see a leader speak openly and freely about that issue.
There is tendency for the public to want a narrative condensed into easy-to-understand issues. With all the different issues facing the millions of displaced persons, a streamlined narrative is nearly impossible.
That’s why, in this Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church, it’s important to remember compassion in all of our dealings, especially with strangers