“This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity.” – Pope Francis
This quote from Pope Francis has been making its way around the global block. In fact, many of Pope Francis’s statements have caused quite a stir in the electronic world of Twitter, Facebook, and the blog. I’ll be honest, I’m intrigued by the new pope. He seems to be willing to challenge the church in some unexpected and surprising ways.
The word that struck me in this particular quote was “mediocre”. Is that what we think the call of the universal church is today? Or maybe more importantly, is this the reflection that the world sees of the church today? I don’t know about all of the time, but one can’t help think that from time to time our answer is a half-hearted, “Yep, we’re mediocre. Yea for us…sigh” I believe the world sees this kind of reflection from the universal church more often than we will admit.
Being a follower of Jesus is a daily call to be more than small groups that are mediocre, isn’t it?
Maybe the church just needs more cheerleaders like Lake Wobegon has in the great Garrison Keillor. Keillor concludes every reflection about this quaint fictional Minnesota town by saying, “Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”
The church isn’t called to be a small collections of mediocre groups whose mission is to protect our turf from the rest of the world behind closed door meetings. As followers of the risen savior Jesus Christ, I hope that we are called to be more than that, don’t you? Thanks Pope Francis for challenging me to think and pray about that a little lately.