Yesterday Blase Cupich was installed as Archbishop of Chicago, one of America's most important archdioceses. The Archbishop of Chicago usually gets one of those famous red hats from the Pope (named as a Cardinal). Interestingly Cupich came from the rather backwater diocese of Spokane. In other words Pope Francis passed over a number of more high profile bishops to fill this most important post. What we have learned so far is that this unassuming bishop is of a common mind with the Pope. He is a pastor who cares about people, especially immigrants and the poor.
In his message that is taken from the story of Jesus walking on water, he reminds us that change is in the offing. Things aren't going to be the way they once were. He makes clear that the church must undo the damage done by the sex abuse cases. I wanted to lift up this paragraph from his homily, as I think it speaks to who we must become.
Pope Francis is giving voice to this invitation in our day, by inviting the Church to come and walk with Christ, as he is always doing something new. It is an invitation to leave behind the comfort of going the familiar way. He is challenging us to recognize that Christ is always inviting us to more, to greater things. It is the kind of invitation our bishops' conference is making to our nation to be what it has always promised to be, to protect the vulnerable, poor and weak, to treat immigrants with justice and dignity, to respect life and to be good stewards of creation. It is the invitation of Jesus, "Come, take the risk of being more."It is no longer time to play it safe, to do things as we've always done them. It's time to get in the boat and set sail. He got a laugh out of the congregation when he joked that Jesus might have been taking more of a risk getting in the boat that Peter did getting out of the boat and trying to walk on the water. But Jesus has taken the risk of joining us in the work.
I am hopeful that if Francis has the necessary time that he can change the world's largest church, and in doing so will give the rest of us a good example of what can happen. In the meantime, the selection of Blase Cupich is a clear step in the right direction!!
If you would like to read the entire homily or watch it, here is the appropriate site -- http://abc7chicago.com/400736/