This week, DC and much of the US was buzzing with the presence of Pope Francis, tuning in to his speeches to the Congress and the UN General Assembly. This Pope has become the most popular in years, provoking dialogue among both Catholics and non-Catholics. His common sense and humane approach to many social issues that have allowed many to feel included again in the church.
Many here in Washington, DC noted that following his speech to a joint session of Congress, the Pope turned down many high profile invitations to lunch in order to join 300 homeless people being served by Catholic Charities. He spoke of Jesus being born without a home, and how St. Joseph must have struggled during this time. These struggles remain relevant today, and the Pope admonished that there is "no justification, whatsoever, for lack of housing." This calling is important in many cities across the US, and also highlights the need for our work in Nicaragua building homes through our Homes of Hope program.
Aside from discussing the challenge of homeless, the Pope's message to our political leaders was heartening. He reminded us that our shared goal is to make our country a better home for all citizens, saying:
"the challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience"
We hope that all our leaders will be inspired to collaborate toward our shared goal of creating a better nation for all, to understand that we are stronger when we value the least among us as our equal.