Iyan ang pinaka-popular na sagot ng mga tao kapag tinatanong kung ano ang naramdaman nila nang makita nila ang Santo Papa at marinig ang kanyang mga mensahe.
Indeed many people were moved to tears upon catching even but a simple glimpse of the Pope and upon merely hearing his messages of hope and consolation. Marahil nga may mga pagkakataon na bigla na lang papatak ang luha mo nang hindi mo talaga alam ang totoong dahilan.
There might be two reasons kung bakit tayo naiyak: una, kakaiba naman kasi talaga ang dating ng presence ng Santo Papa. May mga nagsabi na kinilabutan sila nang makita nila si Pope kahit sa telebisyon lang. Many people have observed and witnessed the saintliness which seems to be emanating from the Pope’s being. Para sa mga Katoliko, ang Santo Papa ang kahalili ni San Pedro bilang pastol ng Simbahan at ang Panginoong Hesus mismo ang nagtalaga sa kanya sa tungkuling ito. Nasa isip ito ng mga taong nag-abang sa Santo Papa. These Catholics were aware that Pope Francis is the 265th Successor of Saint Peter and it’s as if they will be meeting Christ himself. Some even had the hope of having their diseases healed by the mere sight of the Pope. This belief possibly stems from a passage found in the Acts of the Apostles 5:15: “…to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.” This exemplifies the strong faith the early Christians had on the apostles of Christ -in this case, Saint Peter, the Chief of the Apostles- that they believed even his shadow could heal them. Kaya ngayon, ganyan din ang pananalig na ipinakita ng ating mga kababayan na naniniwalang bilang kahalili ni San Pedro, posible ring makapagdulot ng kagalingan ang pagsulyap (o kung mas papalarin, makahawak sa kamay) kay Pope Francis.
Pangalawang dahilan ng pagtulo ng luha ng marami sa atin ay nung mga moments during his motorcade na may hinahalikan na bata si Pope o lumalapit siya sa may mga kapansanan upang palakasin ang loob nila. These were indeed moving scenes and from our heart of hearts we could not help but be touched by the Pope’s simple gestures and feel happy for these people.
Coinciding with the Papal Visit was the 2nd Philippine Conference on New Evangelization held at the University of Santo Tomas which I attended along with my co-campus ministers. Let me just share one unforgettable experience which happened on the evening of the first day of the conference. I decided to go to the Santisimo Rosario parish in UST to just spend some time in prayer since I could not communicate with anyone as telecommunication services were temporarily disrupted after the Pope’s arrival. There I met two kids, a 10-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother selling some Papal Visit commemorative stuff. Since I did not intend on buying, I just treated them to dinner. Nakipagkwentuhan ako sa kanila and I was able to relate to their story of how their eldest sibling was stabbed to death while attending a birthday party. The same thing happened to my only brother 3 years ago. Kinuwento din nila yung tungkol sa kuya nila. According to them, their kuya was bad, and the girl asked me this question, “Bakit po ganun ate, kung sino pa yung mabait, siya pa yung namamatay, tapos yung masama hindi pa sila yung mamatay?” I honestly did not know how to respond to her question. Sabi ko hindi ko rin alam. Tinanong ko na rin yan sa sarili ko dati when my brother was murdered. I simply told the girl to have a strong faith and never forget to pray. Hindi ko nga alam kung na-satisfy ng sagot ko ang tanong niya. What do you say to this girl, whose eyes have witnessed the harsh consequences of poverty? Will words be enough response?
I shared this story because this is my personal third reason kung bakit ako naiiyak kapag nanonood ako ng news about the Pope and whenever I hear the Papal Visit theme song, “We are all God’s Children”. I remember my encounter with these two kids. Naiiyak ako kapag naaalala ko yung tanong nung batang babae.
During the Papal Meeting with the Youth also at UST, umiyak si Glyzelle Palomar nung nagkwento siya ng karanasan niya and the Holy Father said, “she is the only one who has put a question for which there is no answer”. Her tears expressed what she failed to convey in words. According to the Holy Father, we as Christians must learn how to weep. May mga bagay na mas maiintindihan natin kung mula sa puso, tayo ay luluha. Dahil ang pagluha ay tanda ng pakikiramay sa karanasan ng iba, tulad ng pagluha ng Panginoon sa iba’t-ibang kwento sa mga Ebanghelyo. At ang pagluhang ito ang magtutulak sa atin upang gumawa ng concrete action. This concrete action, for me, is the fullness and realization of the compassion we feel towards others. The Pope also said that if we are posed with the questions like why they suffer or why they experienced painful things our response must be “either silence or a word that is born of our tears.” I realize that now perhaps I cry because I wish I could do something more long-term in effect for the kids I met. But since my resources and time are lacking, I dearly pray that those people who are more capable of doing so and ought to be doing so may be touched by the Pope’s message. I hope those in power and authority will learn to cry with compassion for the marginalized in the society.
Marami ang naiyak nung dumating ang Santo Papa dahil naramdaman natin ang presensya ng Diyos sa kanya. Tears of joy. The Pope delivered beautiful homilies challenging us to care for the poor and the needy. He inspired us to weep for others and empathize with them, to better understand what they are going through. Tears of mercy and compassion. Jesus himself cried out of compassion. It’s okay to cry. According to the Pope, “If you don’t learn how to cry, you cannot be a good Christian.”
Kung walang iiyak, hindi ba nakakaiyak?
Thank you for the inspiration, Your Holiness.