REFLECTION: Five things to look for during the papal visit

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by Thomas Reese, S.J., NCR

The pope’s visit to the United States is going to be a whirlwind affair with scores of events and activities. In the midst of this papal storm, here are five things to focus on.

First, Francis the man.

papal-visit-2015-logo-usa-rgbThis will be America’s first opportunity to see the pope up-close and personal. He is going to be treated like a rock star, but he is no ordinary celebrity. What people will notice is that, for the pope, the visit is not all about himself. It is about the Gospel message of God’s love and compassion and our responsibility to respond to that love by loving our brothers and sisters, especially the poor.

In other words, he is not selling himself; he is selling the Gospel message of Jesus.

Americans are not used to humble celebrities; the phrase is an oxymoron. But for Pope Francis, it is all about others…

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