There is one paragraph in Pope Francis' homily at his Mass of Inauguration which has deeply challenged me, and I hope, you as well. It reads:
Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God's people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, whose whom Matthew lists in the final judgement on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Matthew 25:31--46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!
Isnt' that the great challenge which Jesus Christ gave us so many centuries ago? And to have Pope Francis offer it to us in a new and fresh way is such a grace! Can you imagine what a different world we would be living in if all leaders of peoples and nations followed that motto: Authentic power is service!! We would no longer have wars, hatred, rivalries, conflicts, divisions, and unhappiness.
Pope Francis has a great love for immigrants, and he told me that he was praying for all of the world's immigrants when I met him last Friday. Some 212 million people on the move across the globe--amazing.
My own ministry for the coming years will continue to focus upon our immigrants, and our understanding and service to them. Once immigration reform is finally signed into law, we have the potential in southern California to qualify almost one million undocumented peoples!
Each of us needs to look deeply into our lives and to ask our loving Lord to help us commit to serving all of our brothers and sisters in whatever way we can--and not just once, but regularly.
Yes, indeed, "authentic power is SERVICE"!!