[#AwaNgDiyosPH] A family-centric final Papal word to a devout nation

 

 

MANILA–From his first speech to his final homily in a four-day, four-night Philippine visit, His Holiness Pope Francis reiterated that Filipinos should protect families.

It is because everyone is God’s children, members of God’s family, the Pope said during a joyous Sunday mass that, unofficially, broke a world record for gathering the most people for a single person.

“Being God’s adopted is who we are… (is) our identity,” Pope Francis said. The empathy Filipinos displayed to victims of typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) is an example.

Unofficially, the January 18 Papal Mass officiated by Pope Francis at the Quirino Grandstand set a world record for the most number of people gathered for a single person (Photo by Mark Santiago / CBCPNews.com)

Unofficially, the January 18 Papal Mass officiated by Pope Francis at the Quirino Grandstand set a world record for the most number of people gathered for a single person (Photo by Mark Santiago / CBCPNews.com)

But protecting families is not just a Filipino-only thing: Asia’s largest Christian nation is the target of missionary work by Filipinos to the entire continent.

There are times however that people “forget to remain, at heart, the children of God,” which is a “sin,” according to the pope.

“That is why the message of the Santo Niño is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family,” Pope Francis said.

There had been ultra-many efforts by the Philippine Church to address the needs of families. But disposition matters, with previously traditional mindsets by clergy people and faithful prevailing the new role the Church should be playing.

“Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets,” Francis said.

 

Pope Francis homily (courtesy GMA 7)

 

Then he reminded the public about the Sto. Nino (Holy Child Jesus), that symbol of the nearly 500 years of Philippine Christianity, to whom the Quirino Grandstand mass was dedicated. Like any child, the Pope said, children as born in the image and likeness of God “must be protected”.

And God the “protector of this great country,” referring to the world’s third largest Catholic nation and Asia’s biggest.

In the context of the work of St. Joseph during the nativity of Christ, protecting the reason for annual Christmas celebrations, Pope Francis said Joseph “reminds us of the importance of protecting families, and those larger families are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family.”

“May He enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace.”–The Filipino Connection and Philstar.com

 

The Filipino Connection covers the visit of Pope Francis in partnership with Philstar.com.

 

 

This story can be published / broadcast / posted online provided The Filipino Connection / Philstar.com and the article’s author/s are properly acknowledged. Editorial mistakes are the publisher’s. Email: thefilipino.connection@gmail.com.

 

About MARLON ALEXANDER LUISTRO