One of my favorite sabbath (day off) activities is staying up late reading the night before my day off. Last night, I read Newsweek from cover to cover. Some great articles in this week's edition.
One interesting article compared the last Pope to the current Pope. The article compared the current Pope's (Benedict) Regensburg Lecture on faith and reason to John Paul's "June 1979 moment." I'm not sure about Benedict's lecture, but the description of John Paul's "moment" was incredible. In June of 79, John Paul gave a speech to his native Poland; a country firmly locked up in communist control. He didn't mention politics, economics or communism. Instead, he spoke of Poland's authentic history and deeply religious culture. John Paul challenged his fellow Poles to the noble project of restoring their true identity. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but historians say that speech marked the beginning of the end of the communistic Russian empire. I love history.
I also love talking about Jesus and the current Pope gave a great response to a kid who asked how we can know Jesus is here even though we can't see him. "No, we cannot see him; there are many things we do not see, but they exist and are essential... We do not see an electric current; yet we see that it exists. We can see that this microphone is working, and we see lights. We do not see the very deepest things, those that really sustain life and the world, but we can see and feel their effects... So it is with the Risen Lord: we do not see him with our eyes, but we can see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve, there is greater capacity for peace, for reconciliation."
I hope that's true in your life.
Now I need to renew my Newsweek subscription for another year.