Pope Francis, Time's Person of the Year, is now atop Fortune Magazine’s 50th Greatest Leaders. His message is simple: See the face of Christ in everyone, particularly the poor among us. The Christian Church that he heads has been around for almost 2,000 years and has a tradition of recognizing that faith and reason go together. Many criticisms of the Church seem to be made by those who have not read what the Church proclaims through the Bible and the Church’s other documents.
Many people do not realize that Catholics do not necessarily take the early chapters of Genesis literally. Josephus, a first century Jewish historian, said that the first chapter of Genesis is a philosophical account of creation. Most critics are themselves often very misinformed or have fallen prey to disinformation.
Faith is ultimately a hypothesis. I believe the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and made Peter the first pope. Many religious leaders of the time rejected Jesus and set Him up to be crucified. They were successful, but scores of witnesses attested to his resurrection, and for almost 2,000 years many were willing to lay down their life based on this faith; that they too will rise again.
On Good Friday, April 18, we will be hosting an ecumenical prayer service at 12:15 p.m. at St. Vincent’s, reflecting on the 14 stations or stops on the way to Jesus’ burial. Saturday night at 9:14 p.m. (about 40 minutes after sunset) we will celebrate this great mystery by baptizing some 20 people and praying and singing some prayers that Christians have prayed on that day for the last 1,700 years.
In the end, within moments of my death, I will discover if my hypothesis is correct. I believe He is risen!
FATHER GLENN KOHRMAN
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church