Many are complaining that the guest list for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit is insulting and offensive. Even the Vatican has expressed concern.
Whether or not I think the White House acted appropriately or intended to offend, I don’t know or care, honestly. That’s not the point of this entry.
Jesus was not offended by anyone. He expressed anger (when he tore apart the marketplace in the Temple), and many times was frustratied with those who refused to hear his message.
Jesus sought out those who were hurting; who needed to hear God’s message of grace, love and forgiveness. He partied with the sinners; he didn’t sequester himself with the righteous. He came for all the sinners of the world, and that’s everyone.
If I were the Pope, I would be excited about the list, not concerned or offended. What a perfect opportunity to minister! Not as a religious figure, per se, because too many hearts are closed to religion, but as the representative of Christ, and what Christ came to earth to die for. I would treat every guest — regardless of whom or what they’re there to represent — with the same love and respect I expect to receive. Period, no judgements and no preconceived notions.
That’s our mandate after all: To go out into the world and spread the Good News. To everyone. No one can do that if they hide behind walls, or expect to be separated from those who need the Message most.