TACLOBAN CITY -– Fourteen months after super typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban City and most of Leyte province, Pope Francis told the people of Leyte Saturday during his homily that Jesus has never let them down even during the time of their greatest catastrophe and that in his passion, the Lord has assumed all their pains and sufferings.
“Fourteen months after Yolanda hit, we are secure with the knowledge that we would not weaken our strength in our faith because Jesus has been there before us,” Pope Francis told the estimated crowd of about 150,000 pilgrims, most of them Yolanda survivors.
He told them how upon seeing the catastrophe in the Visayas from the Vatican, he felt that he should be here for them and how in those very days he had decided to come here in the very city that bore the brunt of the super typhoon.
“And now, I am here to be with you. A little bit late but I am here. I am here to tell you that Jesus is Lord and he never lets us down,” Pope Francis stressed to the crowd.
The Pope said that he respected their sentiments if people would have asked God why He had let them down during those times when whole families were lost and livelihoods and houses gone.
“But the Lord from the cross is here for you and He never let us down,” the Pope said.
“He is capable of understanding us, crying with us and walking with us in the most difficult moment of our lives,” Pope Francis said.
“Unto each of you, your heart cries with the thorns of His own heart and understands us because He underwent all the trials that you have experienced,” he added.
The Pope also asked the people to also look up to Mother Mary for intercession and say to her what we feel in our hearts.
“We are not alone. Let us know that we have Jesus and Mother Mary as our brother and sister,” he said.
He told the Yolanda survivors that in truth, they have many brothers and sisters who, in the time of catastrophe, came to help them.
“Because of it, we feel that we have many brothers and sisters because we helped each other in the time of need,” the Pope said.
From these, it was shown that Jesus, as well as the love and tenderness of Mother Mary had never let them down, he said.
“By holding on to the mantle of Mother Mary and with the power Jesus’ love on the cross, let us all move forward and walk together as brothers and sisters in the Lord,” he said.
“This is my message to you that comes from my heart. Forgive me if i do not have any more words to express it,” Pope Francis said to the great jubilation of the people.