In a few minutes Pope Francis will walk on US soil for the first time after an inspiring few days in Cuba.
In his brief time in Cuba the pope addressed issues of oppression. The response to his words within Cuba was inspiringly positive and hopeful. Pope Francis’ faces a different kind of challenge in the US where the more subtle but equally oppressive power of capitalism reigns.
One of the media commentators have just said that while for most Americans the USA is the centre of the world, this is not the view of Pope Francis who, being a native of South America, views the USA with a degree of skepticism. It is significant that this is the first time Francis has set foot in the US. For Francis the “centre” is not a powerful country, but wherever an individual or community lives in relationship with Jesus Christ.
You can follow Pope Francis US visit live at the US bishops’ website at this link with a live stream of the key events at this link.
You will remember the moment in March 2013 at the time of Pope Francis first public appearance on the balcony above the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica, the new pope bowed and asked us to pray God’s blessing upon him.
Let’s do the same now, and over the next few days. Every morning at St. Patrick’s High School in Timaru in the 1970’s the entire school prayed together for the pope in these words:
Let us pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis
May the Lord preserve him and give him life
and make him blessed upon the earth
and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.