He shared with me that unity would never happen under the Pope of that time, John Paul, a rigid disciplinarian. Then he shared vision (to this day I cannot believe he honored me with this):
“When John Paul dies, another very old Pope will be elected, who will serve only a short time. After that, a new, younger Pope will be elected who will shun all of the trappings of political power, leave the palace, and come down and live among the people.”
As I watched Benedict depart early and the emergence of Pope Francis, washing the feet of jailed youths, loving the poor in Brazil, and refusing to live in the lap of luxury, I have been stunned at the accuracy of Father Joe’s vision. Little did I know at the time that he had already penned the following words in his parable of unity The Homecoming:
“Then came a humble and righteous leader of the King’s servants. He truly loved the King and not just the kingdom. His kindness and humility caused those who had broken away to look into their hearts, and consider what would truly please the King. It was then that all the wandering groups gathered together in the kingdom and worked together to further the King’s wishes. Indeed, the whole world was then blessed because all the factions in the kingdom worked together to make known the King’s name. The kingdom soon encompassed the earth, and from that time on there was truly a thousand years of Messianic prosperity as all peoples and all things were gathered together in the Son’s name.”
Is that leader Francis?
Note that the wandering groups – Protestants – are not required to convert back to the Catholic Church. Rather, all factions in the kingdom work together to make known the King’s name.
That king’s name is Jesus.
We can and must come together at Streamside, which is just my name for Joe’s kingdom.
The impetus for this gathering comes in Part 9 and it is something all lovers of Jesus can embrace.