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Participant shares humbling experiences at Manila papal Mass

mg2I still remember right after the Papal Mass, my friend asked me whether it’s a worthwhile experience. I admitted to him that I have some disappointments, but with a heavy heart, agreed that it is a worthwhile experience. I was disappointed at many different aspects, just because they didn’t meet up to my expectation.

But as I shared my disappointment with my family, they reminded me of how blessed I was even just by being there since many desire to be in my place at that time. Even for the next few days, we were constantly reminded of how blessed we are to be one of the ground-breaking 6 million faithful participating in a once-in-a-lifetime event.

God continually led me to hear His messages through the Pope’s homily. During the Mass, I wasn’t able to hear the homily clearly because we were standing far off from the nearest speaker. Several days after, I searched for his full speech in the websites  These words struck me “The devil is the father of lies…he distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes.  And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves.  We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter.”

He stresses the importance of family by adding “[God] reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family.”  The Holy Father continues “…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.”

Throughout our visit in the Philippines, I saw countless of poverty-stricken houses, homeless, scavengers and child beggars. These sights of desperation and neediness ring true in the Holy Father’s homily.

His theme ‘mercy and compassion’ bears true testimony of how sad the world has become today. We often allow ourselves to be distracted by unnecessary distractions that we forget those who are in need the most, be it spiritual or physical need. We need to show more mercy and compassion, and less of ‘me, myself and I’.

As for me, this has also opened my eyes about my attitude of ingratitude. I focused too much on what I didn’t get during that time, and overlooked on what matters the most. God is merciful enough to enlighten me on what I’ve overlooked: His love and mercy. His love and mercy enables me to attend the Papal Mass, has protected me throughout the journey and opens my eyes to realize the He is present in each and one of the needy and poor.

Let us pray that we will continue to let ourselves to be God’s instrument and let the world know of His love and blessings to each and every one.

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