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"the last will be first, and the first, last" (Matthew 20:16).

You probably heard the news story that Pope Francis will
visit the Philippines in January, 2015. But you may not
have heard this story of the Pope's earlier visit to New
York City. It seems His Holiness was traveling to a much
anticipated, historic meeting with the Secretary General
of the United Nations, and restless from his long journey,
was eager to arrive at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.
As the the pilot started his approach, due to unsafe wind
conditions, he was instead instructed to land at Newark
Airport in New Jersey. When the plane finally touched
down, the Pope, now a bit agitated, was whisked away in
a limousine to his meeting. With only minutes to spare,
he sat anxiously in the back seat of the vehicle. "Can you
drive a bit faster my son?" the Pope gently asked the
chauffeur. "I'm terribly sorry Your Holiness," the limousine
driver begged, "but I can't afford another speeding ticket.
I already have been warned that if I receive one more
violation I will lose my license."

The Pope responded sympathetically to the worried driver,
then asked him to stop the car. To the chauffeur's
astonishment, the Pope got out of the limousine, tapped
on the driver's door and told him that he would drive the
rest of the way. The driver moved to the back seat and
the Pope got behind the wheel. Driving much faster than
the chauffeur would have dared, the Pontiff darted in and
out of traffic, narrowly missing several parked cars.
Observing the speeding limousine, a police officer promptly
signaled the vehicle to pull over. "Let me handle this one,
" the officer announced to his partner. "Before I'm through w
ith this guy he'll have at least five tickets!"

After only a minute, the visibly shaken officer returned to
his squad car with his ticket book still unopened. "You
didn't write him a single ticket?" his partner protested.
"What happened?"

"I couldn't write him a ticket," the first officer said
sheepishly. "This guy is a big shot, I mean, a really big

"Who was it?" his partner asked. "The Mayor of New York
City. . . The Governor of New York State. . . The Chief of
Police? Don't tell me you pulled over the New York City
Police Chief!"

"No, he's bigger than all of them!" the first officer insisted.

"Bigger than all of them? Who's bigger than them?"

"Well," said the first officer, "I'm not exactly sure who he is
but the Pope is his chauffeur!"

"the last will be first, and the first, last" (Matthew 20:16).

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