Posted December 4, 2013 under Blog

Please pray for Pope Francis

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His real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio - it won't be long before a generation of children will be named Jorge (pronounced Horhe) because of this man. Jorge is noted for his humble demeanor and his deep love for the marginalized and his service to the downtrodden. And now for his desire to reform the Catholic Church.

The most significant thing that he brings to the Christian table is his openness and willingness to reach out to people who may not see faith the way he sees it.

"I believe in God, not in a Catholic God"

He has been quoted saying, “And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator.”

This willingness to build bridges could spell a new season of cooperation among Christians of different flavors. A big game changer if only because Catholics are among the most numerous.

Traveling the world I have found the significant work of early Catholic missionaries in Asia that have stood the test of time. In some cases Christianity would have been overrun by other religions if not for those early disciples of men like Francis Xavier and others.

As a child growing up I've had the privilege of knowing Jesus, albeit not in His fullness, but it was much better than having no prior knowledge of Him. The Philippines still is the only Christian nation in Asia. For that I am grateful to the early Catholic missionaries.

Spot on Sir!

Pope Francis has also been quoted saying, “The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.” - Spot on Sir.

Church leadership should empower leaders at all levels to care for the souls of people. So they can encounter the grace of God that comes from the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Leaders that turn believers into disciples of Christ to ensure generations of other leaders and believers. Leaders who are open to new ways of reaching people in our changing world.

Europe's recent history has taught us that though people believed in Christ but have been disunited, have been overrun by Nazism, Communism, and today the continent is threatened by secularism and Islam. If we're reaching out to those of another faith why are we not willing to reach out to one another? Wasn't one of Christ's most important prayers before he was crucified about this?

Christ's Very Own Prayer

"I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11)

Didn't Jesus desire that we become one and in so doing be the impetus to bring the world to the Father? Wasn't the heart of His message rooted in His people becoming one?

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. (John 17:20-23a)

Pray for Jorge aka Pope Francis

It would be foolish and simple minded to think that this unity will be uncomplicated and easy. Like everything in God the starting point is prayer. If only because it is worth believing for it rather than keeping things they way they are.

Why is it that we are willing to believe for the most impossible of things and are not willing to believe what Christ Himself prayed for?

Though you may not be a Catholic pray for Pope Francis as he leads the Catholic Church. My personal prayer is that his openness will result in a new generation Christians who will worship God in Spirit and in truth. A generation who will follow Jesus Christ - the God Jorge believes in.

Special thanks to the Inquistr for the photo above and quotations. If you want more good reading about Pope Francis' leadership style, I recommend this article: What the GOP Can Learn From Pope Francis

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28 thoughts on “Please pray for Pope Francis”

  1. Najee Chua says:

    Thank you for using your platform to bring to light that indeed, Galatians 3:28.
    There will be a lot of nuances, and some controversies surrounding this of course, but thank you for remembering what's important. =)

  2. MomLiza says:

    Well, it could have been the media who asked about the Catholic God hence his reply. No one said there's a Catholic God. I'm a Catholic and I grew up knowing that God is everywhere. So that God is not just for Catholics but for everyone, born again, baptist, etc. Just as born again are not the only christians here on earth but everyone who believes in God, Jesus Christ & The Holy Spirit.

  3. Evelyn Adalia says:

    Amen..Pope Francis..Knowing Jesus and worshiping Him with all my heart and soul it really changed my life,I am more happier,peaceful,financial freedom and I feel good about myself and helping others..Ever since I became christian God has been blessing and providing with all my needs..I thank you Jesus for loving me..

  4. Emerson C. Erigbuagas says:

    I am glad that after years of praying for the catholic church by many Christians who have understood what real Christianity is about, would start reaching out to others regardless of the sect or name of the group they belong to. God's purpose will prevail, His chosen people to do the task to be accomplished could be anyone...(Lowest status in life or could be Kings) ...bottomline - what His Will is, noone can stop...

    1. joeybonifacio says:

      Thank you for your comment Emerson. Keep praying for him and for other people. Jesus is able to do exceedingly more than we know, can imagine or believe.

  5. Claudine Abne says:

    Indeed let's pray for this man because this man is leading billions of people. And I am touched by the Spirit with the verses John 17:11. And I thank this website for informing me that this guy believes in a God but not a Catholic God which is misleading. Every one can say I believe in God because it is already manifested in the creation that there is a Creator. The true question is who is his God? Is it the true living Lord God of the Bible (which contains only 66 books) or is it the god of this BROKEN AND FALLEN world. In a addition to John 17:11, we can be one if we remain in the true vine which Lord Jesus Christ. Also there is something lacking to what Jesus Christ is to pope francis, he said Jesus is his teacher and pastor hence forgetting to quote that Jesus is LORD AND SAVIOR. That something to think about cause he missed out LORD JESUS CHRIST'S MOST IMPORTANT TITLES OF ALL BEING : "LORD" AND "SAVIOR".

    1. joeybonifacio says:

      Thanks Claudine.

  6. reynaldo cabrera says:

    when i saw Pope Francis in tv screen i almost cried i dont know where that feeling came from.. the first thing i know i love him and pray and thank the Father Almighty for he is safe of his long journey and landed in our land Philippines..Pope Francis we love you and always will..

  7. Truth says:

    I'm praying that Pope Francis would speak of the truth. I'm sorry but I believe He may have misinterpreted the verse. I believe that what our Lord Jesus tells us to be one with Our Father, not to be as one uniting ourselves together. Going back to the Babylon times, when the Tower of Babel was built and people become as one so they can be the same level as God the Father which is the plan of Satan when used some powerful people back then. Sorry what I said isnt clear enough but please we need to seek for Him for the Truth. Watch Know Your Enemy by The Fuel Project. Thank you. God be with you all in seeking for the Truth

    1. Jun Estra says:

      Hi Truth, John 10:16 - Jesus says there must only be one flock and one shepherd. People being united doesn't have to be evil everytime.. 🙂

      1. joeybonifacio says:

        Thanks for visiting the site.

  8. Tristan Sim says:

    There may be arenas that evangelicals and Catholics, to a heavy degree, dissent theologically but if our cause is for Christ and the redemption of His people, who are we to hamper?

    1. joeybonifacio says:

      I can only agree.

  9. Truth says:

    Remember that we have to stick with the word of God, word of the Lord, with the scriptures and clearly there are some evil spirits behind some people, especially with those who hold the position to twist what is written in the Bible which is the TRUTH. Just because someone who is gentle and articulate doesnt mean he/she speaks of the TRUTH. There will be wolves in sheep skin. Let us discern that. We have to be united in Truth.

    1. joeybonifacio says:

      Totally agree.

      1. Jun Estra says:

        Truth, I agree with you on this but it doesn't have to be Pope Francis..:)

  10. Jun Estra says:

    Thank you Bro. Joey for this article. We Catholics are praying for our "Non-catholic" Christian brothers as well.

    1. joeybonifacio says:

      Thanks Jun.

  11. Kenneth Canlas says:

    Its all about our relationship to God. Regardless of your religion, our relationship to God is all that matters the most and Jorge is showing it by reaching to the people in different sectors.

  12. joeybonifacio says:

    If some of you are wondering why your comment was not published in this site it is probably because it did not fit into the rules of this home. This website is "my home" (it has a home page). As such I have rules in it. If you want to know what they are click on the About page: http://joeybonifacio.com/about/

  13. Belle A. Gruenberg says:

    My ardent wish is that, as people are so prepared and excited for Pope Francis, all the more we have to be spiritually prepared and excited about the coming of our Lord Jesus Chris.t

  14. Truly the same Grace and truth that emmanates from this blog article is the sameundeniable Grace and truth that emmanates from The Pope. His message of inclusion, forgiveness, acceptance and love sounds and feels Gospel centered. If a unity of faiths inspired the central message of Christ is at hand, I'd rather be an catalyst than a voice of dissent.

  15. Leila Andres says:

    There is nothing wrong in introducing reforms especially if it adapts to the changing times. However, the question we have to consider is, are these changes intended for God and His glory? Or intended for men alone and the earthly desires that comes with it? Will these changes benefit the majority of people and unite them as one to Christ? Or will it just cater "some" for their own convenience?

    There is great difference in "modern ways" vis-a-vis "modern doctrines". I would rather have a Church who exercises modern ways but preaches the "preserved" truth in the Scriptures, than a Church who uses "old ways" to introduce "modern doctrines".

    We must never depart with the Truth.You either accept the Word of God, laid down by Him, or you do not. Time is of no significance. What was given thousands of years ago to men, through the Word of God, has not changed, nor can it. Anything, which comes from God must remain intact, no matter how difficult this is.To remain true to God’s Teachings requires great strength, stamina and a willful determination.

    Love is the way in which you can remain true to God, this love must be unconditional. It must never be sullied by love for yourself because this does not give glory to God. If you truly love God, you will remain loyal to the Word. If you say you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you must follow His Teachings, without condition.

    Thank you for standing and remaining true to the word of Jesus. Let us pray for the lost ones. May they discern the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. God Bless You Pastor Joey 🙂

  16. fhbautista says:

    Joey, many thanks for the refreshing insights on Pope Francis and the need for all of us to pray for him (which he keeps asking for anyway)
    and for his leadership of the Catholic church. My wife and I have been praying for him since his election as new Pope, and reading about his revolutionary messages. Some Catholic church leaders and lay thinkers say he is saying nothing new; Popes John Paul II and Benedict said the same things. In my opinion, they miss the point entirely. This Pope walks the talk, not only mouths doctrine but lives it, and again in my opinion, epitomizes the Christian lifestyle of humility, sincerity, God-centered faith, compassion, translating all of these values into simple, bite-size day-to-day activities that the commonest people, poorest of the poor, and the marginalized can digest and internalize. He connects. I don't believe or agree with everything he says, but I admire his candor and authenticity both as a human being and man of God. I hope all of us regardless of religious labels will heed your call for prayers for Pope Francis. We need unity and community of purpose in these difficult times.

  17. Lissa Poblete says:

    Amen po. My pastor is a friend of yours po (Pastor Jerome S. Ocampo). Pastor, I was inside the MOA Arena for the Pope Francis Encounter with Families last Jan. 16 because of the pro-life organization I belong to ( we were given tickets as an organization). When the Pope arrived, I saw excitement and joy at seeing their Pope...no one was worshipping him or adoring him as teenagers would do at a boy band concert. they were just happy to see him. And seeing Pope Francis, he wasn't like a egocentric attention-hungry rockstar (for ex. rockband performers at a concert trying to perform for the crowd). He genuinely cared and looked people in the eye, and it did not look fake and contrived at all. What impressed me most was when he saw the disabled, the lame and the sick who were seated at the front row, he kissed the foreheads and laid hands and embraced each one, just as the Lord would have. He blessed and laid hands on all the children.He was truly Christ-like, in what i saw. Then during the "Liturgy of the Word" he gave a three-point sermon just like my pastor does and spoke words just like my pastor would...for ex."don't stop dreaming for your family...for when you stop dreaming you stop loving"...his teaching was from Matthew 2:13-23. He spoke of resting in the Lord (as Joseph did...the angel spoke to him in a dream/as he rested), and praying, and obeying and defending one's family like Joseph did. And in this day, defend the family especially from" ideological colonization" (today's secularism/hedonism ideology) and protecting life from conception til natural death(defending life). we were blessed by what we saw and heard po. It was also a challenge to us because we are involved in mercy ministries as husband and wife. I just wanted to share what I witnessed. Thank you for your blogpost, Pastor. 😀 Yes, we will prau with you po.

  18. Ian says:

    Hi Pastor Joey, I am glad that you quoted John 17, where Jesus prayed for the unity of all Christians. I hope that as a Pastor, this blog of yours will be an avenue of charitable dialogue between Christians (Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants) in achieving that unity. May we be an instrument to fulfilling the prayer of our Lord and Savior.

    My problem is that I think that the birth of Protestantism makes it hard to achieve this supernatural unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17 because of the fact that in Protestantism, there are over 40,000+ denominations (one denomination is put up every week). This splintering of Christians concerned Paul as we read in his letter to the Corinthians.

    "I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Peter,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” " (1 Cor 1:10-13).

    The Apostle’s purpose in writing to the Corinthian Christians was, “that there be no divisions” in the Church. Paul could not conceive of Christians naming themselves after human church leaders. Paul exhorted the Corinthians not to tolerate those who claimed to be “Pauline” Christians. Nor should there be any “Apollonian” or “Petrine” Christians. Given Paul’s insistence against name-bearing sects, we might safely conclude that he would fiercely condemn the practice of certain Christians who identify themselves as “Lutherans” or “Calvinists.” Even the word “denomination” comes from the Latin de nomine meaning “of a name”. This denominational arrangement is completely foreign to the teachings of Paul. For this reason, the Catholic Church never has accepted a “denominational” understanding of Church.

    Notice also how Paul associates “name-calling” with salvation.

    "Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”" (1 Cor 1:13)

    Recall how Paul understands the Church as a participation in the person and life of Christ. To call oneself “Pauline” or “Lutheran” is to claim participation in the one whose name you bear. To be a “denominational Christian” is tantamount to identifying “Paul” or “Luther” as the redeemer and founder of one’s faith. In fact, Saint Paul specifically instructed Christians in every case to “avoid those who cause schism” (Rom 16:17). Even if the Church requires renewal, Paul believes that division is not the means to achieve it.

    Saint Paul further identifies the unity of the Church with the Holy Spirit. In his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul identifies the unity of the Church with the unity of the Holy Spirit, the unity of Christ, the unity of the faith, the unity of baptism and finally the unity of God the Father. It is difficult to imagine a more compelling argument for the unity of the Church:

    "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all" (Eph 4:1-6).

    Paul asks Christians to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit”. I think only one Church has maintained the unity that Christ established before He ascended into Heaven. No other “denomination” is able to claim Paul in this regard.

    Pax Christi,

    Ian

    1. George D says:

      But without the rise of Protestants, I think I would not know Christ. I was a Catholic before and sitting at the "church" and listening to a priest while he reads a chapter in the Bible and sings a from the book of Psalms did not lead me to Christ. Instead it made me hate "church" for I was required by my parent to attend a sermon but the gathering felt I was just wasting my time.

      Yeah! Surely, the unity is important but without Christ being the center of that unity, it is meaningless.

  19. Maann Paguio says:

    The blog design is so complicated, its hard to read the articles. I hope the design will be simple so it will be readable. Thanks

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