|Pope Francis' coat of arms. Read a beautiful explanation of the coat of arms here.|
We're trying to make the most of this week's events as a family. Lacy at Catholic Icing has some wonderful ideas for celebrating the Pope's visit and the World Meeting of Families with children. Each night this week after dinner, T and I have watched some of the online news highlights from Pope Francis' visit with our kids. Watching the throngs of people waiting and clamoring to welcome the Pope has been moving in many respects. Watching the Pope among all the cheering crowds, however, my heart felt a surprising Palm Sunday conviction. I imagined the scene in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered the city to a large and jubilant crowd. How amazing that must have been! But, four days later, Christ was alone and abandoned; the only shouts we of condemnation.
The Holy Father's visit will end. Each of us in the crowd will return home. But, Pope Francis' message, the Gospel message, remains! Will we abandon the Gospel as we reenter into our daily lives, as the crowds abandoned Jesus after Palm Sunday? When there is no longer a cheering crowd, when the euphoria of celebrity has passed, will any of us be willing to take up the struggle of the cross? Will we be willing to follow Christ in a life of love, casting off sin and walking with the Holy Spirit toward holiness? This stuff can be hard. Lord, help me to follow you tomorrow, not just today, in the moments of my daily life, into a life of conversion, not just when it feels convenient.