MANILA, Jan, 18, 2015—What papal homily would be complete without mentioning the poor?
Summing up his message on how the faithful can most effectively help those who have less in life, Pope Francis once again departed from his prepared speech, saying, “Your reality is more important than these papers! You are more real than ideas,” and called on hundreds of thousands of young Filipino faithful gathered at today’s Encounter with the Youth hosted by the University of Santo Tomas (UST), to learn “to think, to feel, and to do … and all that, harmoniously”.
The Holy Father also noted how learning to love is the “most important lesson in life”.
While the Argentine pontiff, who took his name from Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century saint famous for his evangelical poverty, admitted that there is a “challenge of integrity, of concern for the environment,” he stressed that the biggest challenge confronting the faithful is to “love the poor”.
Let God surprise you
Using as example the Apostle St. Matthew, the Holy Father explained that God reveals Himself through surprises.
“Empty your pockets, but come with very full hearts,” he said.
To be wise, allow yourselves to be surprised by the love of God,” he added.
The Holy Father asked Rikki Macolor, one of the many youth volunteers who has done relief service for Yolanda survivors, whether he allows himself to receive.
“Answer in your heart,” he told Macolor, pointing out to him that the faithful should also teach themselves to receive with humility.
Openness to receive
“You learned how to give, but you have not learned how to receive. You lack one thing: to become a beggar. This is not easy to understand. To learn how to beg, to receive with humility, to be evangelized by the poor,” the pontiff said in Spanish, relying on his official interpreter’s assistance.
According to the Holy Father, this humility and openness to receive is what helps young people mature in their commitment to give to others.
Young people need to learn how to offer up [their] hand from [their] own poverty, he added.
Pope Francis will have one more official papal event to preside over, the concluding papal Mass to be held at the Quirino Grandstand, Luneta Park at 3:30 p.m. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)