Undressing at the Crossroads

Back in March, we all rejoiced as the white smoke billowed and jubilation erupted in St. Peter’s Square and around the world –habemus papem!  We have a pope.  When the name of the new pope was announced, given that he was a Jesuit, I assumed it was in honor of St. Francis Xavier, the great Jesuit missionary and saint.  That would have been a great choice to tap the tradition of his own order for a new evangelization.  But from the beginning, it was clear that there was something different here – “See I am doing something new.”  Even the first appearance on the loggia of St. Peter’s was different. Here was our new pope – and instantly I was struck by his appearance.  It was as though he was wearing the minimally acceptable papal wardrobe – and the pectoral cross seemed plain – and his demeanor unassuming. Continue reading