When a Boy Spontaneously Hugs Pope Francis the Result is a Wordless Catechism

by Family, Pope Francis

 The eloquence of a gesture, the power of spontaneity, when we allow others to take center stage, the world watches. 

Today’s video shows scenes from the young 6 year-old boy who “stole the stage” from Pope Francis. The occasion was the meeting of the families held in the Vatican.

While the video in itself is touching and certainly brings a smile to the face, it is important that we always try to understand and learn a very valuable lesson from the Holy Father, which in his case, are many times cloaked in the robes of spontaneity and simplicity.

Family means the joy of putting the other in the center

It is a community of persons in which the person always comes first. Plans and schedules are good but their existence has value only in so much as they serve the person. Pope Francis made it clear: “Carlos” wasn’t an obstacle, he was the center, the reason for the whole event. His was the center stage from the beginning whether he got up on it or not.

Spontaneous apostolate

For me, one of the most valuable lessons from our Holy Father is an apostolic one. An authentic apostolate is based on love and openness to the Spirit. Again, planning, strategies, schedules, and all such things have their worth, but we must be constantly aware that, no matter the energy spent, they all have their limits; a good apostle knows that his efforts should never take center stage, that place is always reserved for the encounter between God and his people. With this, I do not mean to imply that we should not take that place on center stage, rather that we should always be aware that it is an instrumental service, an act in which we offer our lives to Christ and invite him to work through us, allowing others to encounter Him.

Time and time again the most fertile moments are the unforeseen ones, beautiful sparks of freedom and joy that inflame the hearts of all in unexpected way. Apostolate is never a one way dialogue, rather a symphony in which we must learn to listen, to appreciate, to rejoice in the beauty of each note and do everything within our capacity (above all in prayer) so that each note may be heard.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt 19:14

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