Yesterday, I read a quote from the New York Times: “Pope Francis already gave hope to homosexuals, divorced and supporters of the Big Bang theory. Now it’s time for animal lovers and vegans.” This was a reference to the words of the Pope, who was talking to a boy about a dog, saying: “Heaven is open to the whole of God’s creation.” The controversy caused by this sentence in interesting, because it does not mean that dogs have a soul and need salvation. It expresses only a fairly obvious truth that all of creation that was given to us in paradise will not be taken away for eternity. Nature will not be “saved,” but will keep giving us joy with its beauty in Heaven.
Similarly, there should not be much controversy around the Big Bang theory. Even in religious books for children it is clearly written that this theory is not at odds with our faith. So what’s the big deal? I think the key here is the word “hope.” Pope Francis does not reject anyone, no one is being scared with going to hell and everyone is given hope for a life with God – you only need to want it.
God is greater than our sins and weaknesses, He can handle the twisted stories of our lives and wants us all to enjoy His presence forever. Francis is just reminding us of this, following Jesus, who came to earth just for that reason. In today’s Gospel Matthew quotes a passage from the Book of Isaiah: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone“. Christ came to lead us to the light! He Himself IS the light.
But the problem is that we still like to get lost in the dark, because the light hurts our eyes, it makes us look deeper into our hearts and see the truth. Darkness is not only committing moral sin, but even more often our inflexible law, in which we feel safe, looking down upon others. The light shows us that we are not better than others and that might hurt. Let us, however, not get discouraged in our efforts, because we are created to live in the light, there is our happiness. Let us not loose hope!