If I were living in Manila, I might have been part of the crowd, cheering and welcoming Pope Francis's during his 5-day pastoral visit here in the Philippines. But unfortunately, that was not the case. However, I was able to observe several events on TV which involved the Pope. The social media and other news had also kept me updated.
Though I noticed some hurtful criticisms and comments thrown against him (which are expected naman). One of them is calling him anti-Christ and false prophet. Some of the comments are against the concept of apostolic succession, and the like.
Nevertheless, I didn't bother reacting on the negative comments. I rather chose to see the positive sides instead of judging and striking the haters back. After all, only God has the power to judge us at the end of the day regardless of our beliefs.
What matters most is how the Pope has gathered all the Filipino people as one family in Christ. As a matter of fact, he urged all Christians not to pray to him (Pope) but to Jesus Christ Himself. The Pope truly radiates humility, simplicity, and godliness that each of us must emulate.
Anyways... Long Story Short..
Since I didn't watch everything on TV of what was happening then, I ensured not to miss out the most important part of the liturgy, the homily. He said a mouthful and the messages he delivered have impacted many lives including myself.
I was completely touched and enlightened of what he relayed to us, Filipinos, though I could barely grasp some of his messages. Glad to know there were Filipino priests and newscasters who expounded what the Pope meant in a separate panel discussion on TV.
So here are some of the calls and challenges by Pope Francis which are addressed to every Christian. And I just wanted to point out the important messages that hit me as a person. I would like to share with you my feelings, thoughts, reflections, and the things I need to do as a Christian.
1. Always take time out to pray every day.
To be upfront with you, it hits me like a ton of bricks. As a home-based and hands-on mom, I was so caught up with responsibilities that I tend to forget praying to God. I can rarely slow down, reflect, and re-examine of what has been transpired throughout the day. After what Pope said, I came to realize that with God in silence, we can pour out our problems and frustrations. It is also the great opportunity that we can be grateful of all the blessings he has bestowed upon us.
2. Just focus on what really matters.
I recently listed down my goals for this year to focus on. Goals that are attainable and doable which can contribute to our over-all health: mental, social, spiritual, financial, and physical. Unlike last year, my mind was diverted into many attentions (actually less important stuff) , which drained me physically and mentally. Now I learned to entrust all my plans and dreams to God, and allow His grace to work.
3. If we don't learn how to cry, we cannot be good Christians. "Our response should be silence or a word that is borne out of our tears.
Seeing the girl cry while sharing her tragic experiences with Pope during the "Youth Encounter" at UST, caused my tears to drip. Though, I tried to hide my emotion secretly because I was ashamed to do so in the presence of my mother and husband who were also watching closely on TV (hehe).
True enough. When we acknowledge our weaknesses to God by shedding tears, we immediately feel His comfort. We are relieved instantly. We feel that we are not alone. That means we always need Him during the lowest moment of our life.
4. Protect the Family.
I am fortunate for having a complete family. Husband and I are working home-based where we can keep our eyes to our daughter. What I can do more is to strengthen our relationship by giving quality time to each other. That's why I seldom see myself in social media (**ex. facebook, online games**) as we know how these culprits can steal much of our time, thus can be a source of dispute.
With all our might, let us care and protect our family for it is the foundation of our society.
5. Love the poor.
As a product of a poor family myself before, I couldn't help but pity those people whom I happened to pass by in the street warmless and foodless. This is a big challenge to all of us of what we can do to help these people. However, we don't need to go far. We may have neighbors, too, who suffer the same where we can lend our helping hand.
6. You know how to give but you have not yet learned how to receive. Become a beggar.
What the Pope means here left me hanging to be honest. But in my opinion, it tells us to be beggars of knowledge, wisdom, humility, etc. We must be always 3/4 cup full, allowing ourselves an extra space for improvement. We must also learn to accept our mistakes, lend our ears when someone talks, and most of all learn to receive humility.
Let me know your thoughts about Pope's visit and homily. Always feel free to ask questions or you may leave your comments below. I am always up for chit chat.