An archangel once said, “For with God, nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37).” Well, this statement never fails. Five months after Pope Francis brokered a deal between Cuba and the United States which brought both nations together, Cuban president Raul Castro visited the Vatican. He met with Pope Francis who welcomed him in their native Spanish with, “Bienvenido.” Both spoke in private and then had a photo opt. However, what got the attention of many of us is what Castro said of the Pope. He said:
“The pontiff is a Jesuit, and I, in some way, am too, I always studied at Jesuit schools. I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I’m not joking. I am from the Cuban Communist Party, that doesn’t allow religious believers, but now we are allowing it, it’s an important step. I am very impressed by his wisdom, his modesty, and all his virtues that we know he has.”
It seems that the Pope is bringing the atheist dictator back home to the Catholic Church. Castro even asked the Pope to pray for him. This is what happens when the Gospel becomes our life. We do not need to be apologists or theologians with doctorate degrees or licentiates to spread Catholicism. It is via our living out the Gospel that brings people to Christ. When we live out the Gospel, we show the world that this “stuff” is true and really works. Titus 2:7 states this well,
“Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity..”
I understand some are upset at the statement made by Castro. They consider him an evil dictator who had Cubans murdered and want him to suffer. This is a response from someone who does not understand mercy and forgiveness. Yes, Castro and his brother did and ordered a lot of evil, but we must not judge them, that is God’s job. If Castro sincerely is considering returning to Catholicism, then we as Christians must rejoice like Heaven does (Luke 15:7). Let us pray for Castro and his brother that they may return to God and His Church. Let us also pray for the Cuban people.