Pope's Homily in Tacloban

«Jesus is the Lord, and he is Lord from the Cross. He reigned there!»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Spanish-language homily Pope Francis gave Saturday in Tacloban, a city decimated by the 2013 typhoon, Yolanda. 

* * *

He began in English saying: “If you allow me, I prefer today to speak in Spanish. I have a translator, a good translator. May I do that? May I? [Applause] Thank you very much.”

The Pope then continued in Spanish.

In the First Reading we heard it said that we have a Great Priest, who is able to … 

Jesus is like us. Jesus lived like us. He is the same as us in everything, in everything except sin, because He wasn’t a sinner. However, to be more like us, He clothed himself, assumed our sin. He made himself sin. And Paul says this, who knew Him very well. And Jesus goes before us always. And when we go through a cross, He went through it first.

And if today all of us are gathered here, 14 months after, 14 months after typhoon Yolanda struck, it’s because we have the certainty that we won’t be frustrated in our faith, because Jesus went first. In his Passion, He assumed all our sorrows.

And when … allow me this confidence …  when I saw this disaster from Rome, I felt I had to be here [applause], and that day, those days, I decided to travel here. [Applause] I wanted to come to be with you, ‘a bit late,’ you’ll say to me. It’s true … but I am here. [Applause] I am here to say to you that Jesus is the Lord — that Jesus does not let us down. [Applause]

One of you might say to me ‘Father, he let me down because I lost my home, my family, all that I had; I’m sick …’ What you say it true, and I respect your feelings. However, I look at Him there, nailed, and from there He does not let us down. [Applause] He was consecrated Lord on that throne, and there He went through all the calamities that we have. Jesus is the Lord, and he is Lord from the Cross. He reigned there!

Therefore, He is able to understand us, as we heard in the First Reading. He made Himself like us in everything. Therefore, we have a Lord who is able to weep with us, who is able to accompany 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 He does know what to say to you. So many of you have lost part of your family. I just keep silent. I accompany you with my heart in silence. Looking at Christ, so many of you have asked: ‘Why, Lord?’ And the Lord answers each one in his heart from His heart.

I have no other words to say to you. Let us look at Christ. He is the Lord, and He understands us because He went through all the trials that befall us. And beside Him on the Cross was His Mother. We are like a child who is under there, who in moments of pain, of sorrow, in moments that we don’t understand anything, in moments that we want to rebel … we can only grasp her hand and cling to her skirt, and say ‘Mommy.’ As a child, who when he is afraid, cries ‘Mommy.’ It is, perhaps, the only word that can express what we feel in moments of darkness. ‘Mother, Mommy.’

Together, let us have a moment of silence. Let us look at the Lord. He can understand us because He went through everything. And let us look at Our Mother and, as the child who is under there, let us cling to her skirt, and say with our heart, ‘Mother.’ Let us make this prayer in silence, each one saying to her what he feels … [Silence] We are not alone; we have a Mother, we have Jesus, our elder brother. We are not alone.

And we also have many brothers, who in that moment of disaster came to help us. And we also feel that we ourselves are more brothers, as we have helped one another. This is the only thing I’m able to say to you. Forgive me if I have no other words, but be sure that Jesus does not let one down. Be certain that the love and tenderness of Our Mother does not let us down.

And, clinging to her as children — with the strength that Jesus, our elder brother gives us –, let’s go forward. And let us walk as brothers. Thank you very much.”

After Communion, the Holy Father also spoke these words spontaneously:

“We have just celebrated the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. Jesus preceded us on the way and He accompanies us every moment that we gather to pray and celebrate. Thank you Lord, for being with us today. Thank you Lord, for being with us today. Thank you Lord, for sharing our grief. Thank you Lord, for giving us hope. Thank you Lord, for your great mercy. Thank you Lord, because you wanted to be as one of us. Thank you Lord, because you are always close to us., even in moments of the cross. Thank you Lord, for giving us hope. Lord, may we not be robbed of hope. Thank you, Lord, because in the darkest moment of your life on the Cross, you remembered us and left us a Mother your Mother. Thank you Lord, for not leaving us orphans.”

[Transcription and translation by ZENIT]
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

ZENIT Staff

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation