When Pope Francis boarded the plane back for Rome, we were filled with mixed emotions: great joy and gratitude for having the chance to see him, at the same time, sadness that he was leaving our country.
At the moment, we are emotionally high and spiritually recharged. Yet soon, the “Pope fever” will gradually die down. So what happens next? Cardinal Tagle said, “The event (of the Pope’s visit) is so deep – so deep.
There is so much to reflect on, so much to pray over, so much to learn. And it is only in meditation, in prayer, in silence, that we can really get to the depths of the profound meaning of this event.” We can reflect on the Pope’s contagious smile, his gestures of humility, kindness and sincerity, and his messages on sanctity of family, caring for the poor, suffering, respecting women, corruption, among others We can reflect on the emotional plea “why God allows children to suffer” of a young girl, the six million people that trooped to Luneta despite the rain, the private plane carrying government officials that skidded off the Tacloban runway, and the father’s acceptance of the death of his daughter from a scaffolding collapse.
We need to make time and find a quiet place to pray each day. As Pope Francis said we need to “rest” in the Lord so that we can hear His voice and understand what He asks of us, especially from the pontiff’s visit. Once we have heard His voice, we must get up and act. This way, we bring God’s love to others through our love and good works. We become witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and the whole world.
The “Pope fever” will live on when we rest in prayer and use the three languages of the mind, heart and hands in harmony. Pope Francis has brought us “awesome sunshine to last us many lifetimes.”
Reference: Press Conference at Villamor Airbase (January 19, 2015); Pope Francis’ messages at Mall of Asia and UST and (January 16 & 18, 2015); Pope’s homily at Luneta (January 18, 2015); Speech of Archbishop Soc Villegas after the Luneta Mass (January 18, 2015 )