Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pope Francis’ homily in Tacloban Mass January 17


If you allow me, I prefer today to speak in Spanish. I have a translator, a good translator. May I do that? Thank you very much.

We have a high priest who is capable of sympathizing with our weaknesses but one who is similarly been tested in every way yet without sin. Jesus is like us. Jesus lived like us. Jesus is the same with us in every respect except sin. Because Jesus was not a sinner.

But to be more like us, He assumed our condition and our sin. He made himself unto sin. This is what Saint Paul tells us. Jesus always goes before us. And when we pass and experience a cross, He passed there before us.

And if today we find ourselves 14 months after, 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’d like to tell you something close to my heart.

When I saw from Rome the catastrophe, I felt that 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, I have to say, but I am here.

I come to tell you that Jesus is Lord and He never lets us down.

Father, you might say to me, I was let down because I have lost so many things, my house, my livelihood. It’s true, if you would say that, and I respect those sentiments, but Jesus there (pointing to the cross), 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 calamities that we experienced. Jesus is Lord and the Lord from the cross is there for you.

Therefore, He is capable of understanding us, as we heard in the first reading. In everything, the same as us.

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.

So many of you have lost everything. I don’t know what to say to you. 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 silent. And I walk with you all with my silent heart. Many of you have asked the Lord, why Lord?

And to each of you, to your heart, Christ responds from His heart upon the cross.

I have no more words to tell you, let us look to Christ, He is the Lord. He understands us because He underwent all the trials that we, that you, have experienced. And beside the cross was His mother. We are like this little child, just there.

In the moments when we have so much pain, when we no longer understand anything, all we can do is grab hold of her hand firmly. And say, Mom, as a child does to a mother, when he or she feels fear.

It is perhaps the only word we can say in such difficult times, Mother, Mom.

Let us together hold a moment of silence, let us look to that Christ on the cross. He understands us because He endured everything. Let us look to our mother, and like that little child, let us grab hold of her mantle, and with a true heart, say, mother.

In silence, let us say this prayer, say it to the mother, what you feel in your heart.

Let us know that we have Mother Mary and our great brother Jesus, we are not alone. We also have many brothers who in this moment of catastrophe came to help you, and we too, because of this we feel more brothers and sisters, because we helped each other.

This is what comes from my heart and forgive me if I have no other words to express this: But please know, Jesus never lets you down. Please know that the love and tenderness of Mother Mary never lets you down.

And holding on to her mantle and with the power that comes from Jesus love on the cross, let us move forward, always forward, and walk together as brothers and sisters in the Lord forward.

Thank you very much.

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