Pope Francis in Tacloban

He came.
He saw.
He compassioned with them.

They came in droves, by the thousands, braving winds and rain.
They came to see him, hear his words, and perchance to touch him.
And how serendipitous that there would be a typhoon blowing
when he came to bring his compassion to them,
victims of last year’s super typhoon, Yolanda.
They have lost everything they owned.
They saw their livelihood wiped out before their own eyes.
They were extremely grieved by the loss of loved ones.

He sets aside his prepared homily and speaks from the heart.
In his native tongue, he pours himself out.
“I feel your pain and I am here for you.”
He points to the Lord in pain on the cross
and tells his listeners that He too is with them in their sufferings.
“He understands us because he underwent all the trials
that we, that you, have experienced.”

He chokes and he tears up,
“I have no more words for you. . . .
All I can do is keep silence and
walk with you all with my silent heart.”

Without words but his precious presence,
he touches all those who were there.
There is no loud or lively applause
as greeted him on his arrival in Manila.
There was only silence as the people
wept and shed tears, spiritual tears.
Tears of joy that they were not alone in their suffering.
Tears of gratitude that the Lord has come to them through this holy man.
Tears of illumination that the Lord is indeed at work in their lives.
Tears of consolation that God’s will is done in all things.

It was a moment of extreme grace for God has come to call upon His people.

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
~ Psalm 19
Jesus went out along the sea.
All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus,
sitting at the customs post.
Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed Jesus.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples;
for there were many who followed him.
Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners
and tax collectors and said to his disciples,
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus heard this and said to them,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Mark 2:13-17
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