Check out Pope Francis washing the feet of teens at a youth penitentiary today.
That last frame is the one I love most, he looks into the eyes of each of them and smiles. Don’t you just know that Jesus probably did the same thing for each disciple.
A simple mass was all the Pope asked for…but far from simple are his actions. Think about the teens that he visited with today. For many, they may be forgotten souls. To end up in jail, most of them for drug offenses, their lives at home may have been troubled to begin with. How often might they ever get a visitor? Perhaps the Pope is the first person who has come to see them in some time. The Pope has time, even for the most forgotten souls–even those in the forgotten jails of the Vatican.
The refrain many have heard may have been: “Lock those kids, those good for nothings, away and let them rot there.” But the Pope provides hope. Hope for the future. Hope that they might be turned to wash feet themselves.
What about us? Can we wash the feet of the forgotten? Can we dare to care for the most vulnerable in the world? Who do we cast to the sidelines and simply forget about? The Pope reminds us to be concerned about these souls.
Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits in order to “help souls.” Perhaps Pope Francis is aiming to remind the church that this is central to our mission?