I am inspired and full of hope with the words of Pope Francis. The world has a new spiritual leader that sounds a lot like Jesus. He talks about love, compassion, and non-judgemental behavior.
"You are not Catholic, why do you care?" you might ask.
I am Unitarian and believe in the human race as one. If some are struggling, it affects us all. I see great importance in all spiritual leaders. They can lift the world up if they deliver a message that leads to behavior based in true compassion and understanding.
There are hints of this message in what Pope Francis says. I can learn something from this man. And larger than that, millions around the world will be listening to this man. I don't expect him to change the entire way that followers interpret the Bible and don't believe that is what he feels called to do. But he is calling the church to behave differently and get focused on the core vision, mission and values of the church. He is calling the spirit of the church into action as compassionate followers and asking us all to recognize that we don't own God. God is part of us all.
Many may feel compelled to dial back what he is saying - to try to hang on to the more exclusive and divisive views of the past. That's understandable. Pope Francis' message is nearly as radical as Jesus, the Rabbi's, message was to the Jews. Jesus told the Jews that God loved the Gentile too. Jesus told the Jews that laws would not save them. I hope the world is better prepared this time.