Thursday, March 14, 2013

The New Pope

The new Pope chose the name Francis.  Francis of Assisi was a man of humility.  

According to news reports, the new Pope has spent quite a bit of his ministry working with the poor.  When I read this, it made me think of a song that has been sung for years in the Catholic church, "The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor".  It is a much more mournful song that most of what the worship band with which I play sings.  And of all the things about our worship band I have to say that the fact that most of what we sing is about worship and praise and so little is mournful has always been something that has not sat quite right.  There is a lot to be sorrowful about--in readings, in the world, etc.  And sometimes even the music ministry needs to reflect that.  Yes, we reflect it during Lent and Holy Thursday.  But that is not the only time of the year to mourn.

In any case,  the title of the song is related to Psalm 34 verse 7 and there are signs of other verses (like 2 and 3) in the verses.  It is a reminder (to borrow from the footnote at the end of the Psalm on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website) that the "defenseless" can rely on God.  It is also a reminder as we read the rest that the defenseless (i.e., poor) may find it easier to rely on God.  

Finally, it is a useful reminder of how much the mission of the church and its members is supposed to be to ease the suffering of the poor and defenseless and what types of ministries the new Pope will focus on and encourage.

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