Thursday, March 21, 2013

Year of Faith! What is a Pope?



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What is a POPE ?

    Billy ran into Jane’s room shouting, “Jane, Jane. What’s a Pope?”
   Jane, looking at the TV, said, “Billy, be quiet. Look at the white smoke.”
   Billy said, “I know, Tommy’s mother called him. She said something about the Pope and white smoke. What’s a Pope?”
  Jane gave Billy a look, as she did whenever he didn’t know something.
  “Billy,” she said in her superior “big sister” voice. “The whole world is waiting for a new Pope. The white smoke means we have one.”
   Billy screwed up his face and said, “But, what is it, and why is it burning up?”
  “Billy,” Jane said in a ‘Don’t you know anything voice.’”   
  Jane looked at his confused little face then, and remembered how Mr.James, the catechist, had told her Jesus wants us to love everybody.
   In a gentler voice, she said, “When Jesus came, he had some close friends who followed Him everywhere. He taught them and wanted them to spread His message of love to the whole world.”
   “Were they popes?” Billy asked.
   “No, we call them apostles.  One of them was Peter, and one day Jesus asked the apostles what people were saying about Him and His teaching.
   “The apostles said some people thought he was Isaiah come back to life. Others thought he was a prophet.”
   “What’s a prop it?” Billy interrupted.
   Jane sighed and shook her head. She continued. “Then, Jesus asked them who they thought he was? 
   "And Peter said, ”You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
   Everybody was surprised, because Peter was always getting things mixed up. Sometimes Peter said dumb things and Jesus had to straighten him out.
  “Everyone knew Peter hadn’t figured this out himself. Jesus said Peter had learned it from His Father in Heaven."
   Billy eyes opened wide. “Did Peter go to Heaven and talk to Jesus’ Father?”
  “No. Sometimes, God tell us things in our heart. If we listen, Billy! We have to listen!”
   Billy waited for Jane to say more.
  “So anyway, Jesus said Peter was a rock, and on this rock, He was going to build His Church”
  “Why did he say Peter was a rock?”
   “Because Peter, the name, means rock, but Jesus knew Peter was going to be a true follower. So, after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Christians looked to Peter. He and the other apostles knew what Jesus taught. And Peter was special, like a father to everyone.
   " Peter died in Rome. and ever since then, the Bishop of Rome has been special.  So we call Peter the first Pope. And in Latin and in Greek, Pope means father.  And NOW we are waiting to see who the new Pope is, because the last Pope Benedict has resigned because he doesn’t feel well.”
   “Jane?” Billy started to ask, but Jane said, “Quiet, Billy! We are going to see the new Pope!”
    “See, there he is. Pope Francis is the new Pope,” Jane said.