Evangelical Catholic Pope Francis Speaks to Faithful in Taclobban, Philippines
I’ve come to tell you that Jesus is Lord, and he never lets us down. Jesus is there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not let us down. He was consecrated as Lord on that throne and there he experienced all the calamities that we experience. The Lord from the cross is there for you. In everything, he is the same as us. That is why we have a Lord who cries with us and walks with us in the most difficult moments of life. But the Lord does know what to say to you. Some of you have lost part of your families. All I can do is keep silence and walk with you all with my silent heart.
– Pope Francis
I awakened early this morning, knowing that Pope Francis was scheduled to address a large crowd of the faithful in Tacloban, Philippines, during his apostolic visit, and eager to find out what had happened.
Tacloban is where the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda hit the hardest in 2013, when the people of the Philippines endured such tremendous pain and loss.
It is the place which Francis most especially desired to visit when he decided to visit the Philippines.
Eager to read, view or hear an accurate report of what had occurred – and given the time difference – I went to the #1 source for all things related to the Vatican and the papacy.
My favorite source for reliable and accurate information on Pope Francis, and what he really says, is Whispers in the Loggia, the Blog of one of Philadelphia’s favorite sons, Rocco Palmo.
I have regularly encouraged my readers to visit Rocco’s site, and I do so once again. Go Here. Rocco began his excellent coverage with these words of opinion:
Quite possibly the most powerful moment of his 22 months as Bishop of Rome, scrapping his prepared preach before a crowd estimated at 500,000 – and wearing the same poncho given the throng over his vestments due to tropical-force wind and rain – here’s the Pope’s emotional ad-libbed homily to the community hardest hit by the most devastating recorded storm ever to hit land.
I believe Rocco was absolutely correct in his opinion. This was a truly powerful moment in a lively and colorful papacy. And yes, the Pope laid aside any notes and technically, ad-libbed.
But, I suggest it was much more than that. This powerful homily or sermon offers us a window into the heart of an evangelical Catholic Pope. It also summarizes the very spirit of what he seeks to say well beyond the Catholic and broader Christian community. He desires to speak it to the whole world.
The message is – Jesus is Lord!
With the dramatic, almost prophetic, background of devastating winds and rain, this successor of the Apostle Peter endured an impending Cyclone – precisely because of his dynamic faith in Jesus Christ – to share this message.
Pope Francis spoke to a crowd of hundreds of thousands of the faithful who had gathered for Holy Mass. Most of them were survivors of typhoon Yolanda. With them, he endured tropical cyclone Amang. However, he spoke beyond them to a world waiting to hear the hope of the Gospel and find the path to true freedom.
He pointed all of them – and he points all of us – to the One who calms every storm in life because he enters into them with us and saves us, right there in the midst of them.
This evangelical Catholic Pope continually points us to Jesus Christ. His words of exhortation powerfully summarize the heart of his message. Jesus is Lord!
Clothed in a simple yellow poncho, along with all who had gathered to pray with him, and to better endure the elements, the Pope laid aside any prepared notes.
After asking the crowd for permission, he spoke spontaneously, from the heart, in Spanish, his native language. His message was reminiscent of the powerful passage found in the Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Pope Francis had an excellent interpreter who immediately translated the spontaneous message into English. The great high priest spoken of in the Letter to the Hebrews is Jesus Christ. The One who not only entered into our humanity but transformed – and transforms it – from within. the One who enters into our pain and our struggles.
The YouTube video which accompanies this report is must see video for anyone who wants to experience the real heart and soul of this Pope named Francis. I offer below, for our readers around the globe, some of the powerful words which this humble follower of Jesus Christ spoke to the faithful.
Portions of the Homily of Pope Francis
Jesus always goes before us. And if today we find ourselves 14 months afterwards here, 14 months precisely after the typhoon Yolanda hit, it is because we have the security of knowing that we are not going to weaken in our faith, because Jesus has been there before us.
In his passion, he assumed all our pain.
I saw from Rome that catastrophe, I felt that I had to be here. And on those very days, I decided to come here. I’m here to be with you. A little late I have to say, but I’m here.
I’ve come to tell you that Jesus is Lord, and he never lets us down.
Jesus is there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not let us down. He was consecrated as Lord on that throne and there he experienced all the calamities that we experience.
The Lord from the cross is there for you. In everything, he is the same as us. That is why we have a Lord who cries with us and walks with us in the most difficult moments of life.
But the Lord does know what to say to you. Some of you have lost part of your families. All I can do is keep silence and walk with you all with my silent heart.
This is what comes from my heart. Forgive me if I have no other words to express myself. Please know that Jesus never lets you down. Know that the tenderness of Mary never lets you down.
Pray for Pope Francis. Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Pray for one another.
Jesus truly is Lord!
This is a new missionary age – for the whole Church of Jesus Christ. We have a message to share with a world which is reeling and struggling in the midst of a storm. In an age which speaks a lot about “rights”, we must always remember that the first Right is the Right to Hear the Gospel!
Fortunately, this evangelical Catholic Pope named Francis is proclaiming it and challenging each one of us who bear the name Christian to do the same. It is a message which must be proclaimed in both word and deed.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.