Yesterday, the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, landed here in the Philippines and was graciously welcomed by the Filipino people. Thanking God for creating the people who invented the internet, I was able to stream the event live on my computer. As usual, Facebook was the venue of reactions to this event and somehow, beyond the excitement and emotions brewing in my heart, some comments still made me sad.
In my honest opinion, ever since becoming Pope, Francis has inspired many Catholics and non-Catholics alike by his display of mercy and compassion. I admire his simplicity and his passion for the poor, doing his best to be the vicar of Jesus Christ here on Earth. I know some people who were astray that went back to the Catholic Church because of Pope Francis. Somehow, I can say, that Pope Francis “revived” the Catholic Church.
Sadly, some of my Facebook contacts still found time to criticize the Catholic Church here in the Philippines, stating that the priests were the reason why they turned their back on the Church. I must admit, I have met and listened to priests who were judgmental or who were arrogant, and at one point in time, these people also got me discouraged from going to mass. However, with the help of certain people, I learned not to anchor my faith in priests but instead in Christ, and I was able to fill my heart with love and understanding. I now understand that priests have their struggles too, that sometimes, they stumble even when presiding a mass. I was able to focus on the word of God and the good will of the Church instead of focusing on the “skill” or “perfection” of the homily provider.
Yes, the Catholic Church has many controversies, secrets and dark past, but only because imperfect humans are running it. However, like Archbishop Oscar Cruz said, “The Church has been there for two millennia. There must be something divine in it to survive that long.” I believe that the Church’s purpose is to study the word of God and share that word of God to the people, and if I am willing to listen to a doctor who studied Medicine for 5-8 years telling me what to do and what not to do regarding my disease, then I think I am humble enough to listen to a priest (however imperfect he may be) who studied the Bible for 8-10 years to give me wisdom in living my life like Christ did.
So let’s not criticize the imperfect people running the Church, for we are imperfect ourselves, but instead, focus on the perfect God that the Church is proclaiming about.
Pardon my grammar, God bless! ^_^