‘Jesus is there for you’
• January 17, 2015
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
• 0 comments
TACLOBAN CITY – “When I saw from Rome [the] catastrophe, I had to be here. And on those very days, I decided to come here. I am here to be with you – a little bit late, but I’m here.” Thus Pope Francis told an estimated 160,000 devotees as he braved heavy rains and winds to celebrate Mass before a sea of weeping Yolanda survivors. In his homily, Pope Francis, who wore a yellow raincoat, asked the people to continue to trust Christ and hold on to Mother Mary. “Let us know that we have a Mother Mary and our senior, great brother, Jesus. We are not alone,” Pope Francis, who spoke in Spanish which was translated into English by his interpreter, told the crowd which gathered near the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport. “As a child holds the hand of her mother […] when he is in fear, it is the only word to say at this difficult time: mom, mother,” the Pope said. “In moments when we have so much pain, when we do not understand anymore, all we could do is grab [a] hold of her hand firmly,” he added. Yolanda pulverized the Visayan region on November 8, 2013, killing some 6,300 people, with 1,060 still others missing, and damaging some P25-billion worth of properties and public structures. Pope Francis asked the pilgrims to pray in silence and get strength from their faith and move forward from the devastation left by Yolanda. “With the power that comes from Jesus on the cross, let us move forward and walk together,” Pope Francis said. He admitted that the magnitude of devastation that Yolanda left was something that would test the people’s faith. It was this thought which prompted him to visit the Philippines 14 months after the tragedy. “I am here to be with you. A little bit late, I have to say, but I’m here,” he said, drawing applause and cheers from the teary-eyed crowd. “I felt that I had to be here. I decided to come here and be with you.” He admitted that he was at a loss for words when faced with survivors of the tragedy. “So many of you have lost everything. I don’t know what to say to you. But the Lord does know what to say,” the Pope said. “This is what comes to my heart, and forgive me if I have no other words to express this. But please know, Jesus never lets you down.”
The Pope vowed to silently walk with the trials of the survivors. “Some of you lost families. All I can do is keep silence. And I walk with you all in my silent heart.” The Pope also assured the pilgrims that Jesus will understand the sentiments of the survivors because He also experienced so much pains. “You might say I have lost my house, my family, but Jesus nailed Himself there to the cross. He experienced all [the] calamities we experienced,” the Pope said, explaining that Jesus never “let us down.” “He understands us because he underwent all [the] trials that you have experienced,” he said. “That is why we have a Lord who is capable of crying with us, capable of walking with us in the most difficult moments of life,” the Pope added.