BY BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON
“I am here to be with you. A little bit late, but I’m here.”
Pope Francis comforted survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda on Saturday, assuring them that Jesus will always be with them.
The pontiff said that when he saw the disaster brought by Yolanda, “I felt that I had to be here.”
He stressed that his visit to the Philippines was anchored on his desire to share the pain of the victims who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood.
“Jesus will be there for us. In His passion, He assumed all our pain,” he told an emotional crowd that braved strong winds and pouring rain. The Pope spoke in Spanish and his message was translated by an interpreter.
Typhoon Yolanda flattened entire communities and killed at least 6,000 people when it slammed the Visayas in November 2013.
“I come to tell you that Jesus is Lord and He never lets us down,” the pontiff said.
“For all of you who might say to me: ‘Father, I have [been]let down because I lost so many things, my house, my livelihood . . . It is true if you will say that, and I respect [those]sentiments, but Jesus there nailed to the cross and from there, He does not let us down,” he said. “He was consecrated as Lord on that throne. He experienced all calamities that we experienced.”
He added that Jesus is capable of crying and experiencing pain with the people “in the most difficult moments of life.”
“I don’t know what to say to you, but the Lord does know what to say to you. Some of you lost part of your families, all I can do is keep my silence, and I walk with you all with my silent heart,” he told the crowd.
“Forgive me if I have no other words to express this, but please know that Jesus never lets us down. Please know that the love and tenderness of Mother Mary never lets you down. And to each of you, to your hearts, Christ responds from His heart upon the cross. Let us look to Christ. He understands us because he underwent all the trial[s]that we, that you experienced.”
After the Holy Mass, the Pope held a motorcade to meet the crowd. The motorcade ran from Tacloban to Palo, Leyte, where he had lunch with typhoon victims.