“Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new!”

Today’s first reading from Isaiah is most appropriate for a mass that marks the first formal intention for our new pope, Francis! This is a servant in the tradition of St. Paul, and even in today’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians we sense our new pope’s calling:

“I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”

Pope Francis has established his papacy as one that would be spent serving the poor and downtrodden. And for those self-righteous among us who would criticize him for catering to sinners, well, today’s gospel brings the Pope Francis philosophy into full view:

To those self-righteous: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.”

To the sinners:”From now on do not sin any more.”

If both of those groups are changed by the Pope’s approach,  it would indeed usher in a new era of hope, not only for his church, but for the world.