Thao Tran attended the encounter of Pope Francis with the youth in UST.

Marzo 2015 | Thao Tran, odn | Experiências

Like other people I was so excited to go to see the Pope. Somehow I felt I was look like the crowd who followed Jesus from place to place during His mission. I didn’t mind of getting tired, sleepy or being pushed by the crowd. In spite of these things I was so happy to be there. Being with the young people I felt so energetic and full of hope. Even though they didn’t sleep the whole night and some of them came from the province but they didn’t seem to be tired. They danced, they sang and played joyfully. Looking at them deep down in my heart I would wonder how thirsty are they? They are thirsty to see someone who look like the mirror of the Lord, they are thirsty to listen to the word of the Lord through Pope Francis. And their faces said to me that they were so excited to welcome Pope Francis, they needed him who would listen to them and give them comfort.

Many hours passed by, and started to rain. Although it was heavy rain the flame in the heart of the young people didn’t extinguish. They were still excited and eager to welcome Pope Francis. In the end all their efforts gave them more energy when the Pope arrived to UST. I was so amazed to see the expression of the young people as they welcome Pope Francis. Their attitude made me feel that I have seen the Lord, I’m with him, I’m sanctified and I don’t want anything else. I was just there with them and shared the joy with them.

With the feelings that I had, I was so excited to listen to both the young people and the Pope. And this is the time that young people released their concerns to the Pope and at the same time they received the comfort that they were longing for. Listening to the sharing of the young people with different background, different situations and different stages, I felt sympathy with what they shared to the Pope. They were so open to share to the Pope what they have experienced and encountered in their journey. The rich and the poor, both are having problem but each one has different problems, each one has different ways of approaching them. The most important thing I saw it was “hope” and being “grateful” to the Lord. That was the consolation and the strength given to them to overcome all the obstacles that they meet in their life.

The encounter with the Pope became more touching when the little girl shared her experiences, she burst into tears in the first question of her speech and Pope Francis embraced and consoled her immediately. Seeing the Pope consoling her I felt the presence of Our Holy Father giving us a certain kind of electricity. He mesmerizes all of us with his humility, his great words of wisdom, his simplicity, his sincerity and his love. He showed to the little girl and to all the young people his mercy and compassion. The Holy Spirit is so alive in Pope Francis. I see the lovely presence of our Lord and feel the love of Jesus in him. He didn’t stop there, he continued giving to people, society, the Church, and in particular to the young people the lesson, the message and the comfort. These are some of Pope Francis’ messages to the young people during his encounter with the young people in UST:

  • To learn how to love is the most important lesson in life. Use the three languages of the mind, heart and hands in harmony.
  • To learn to weep for the poor & weak
  • To give and to also know how to receive
  • To be prepared for God's surprises
  • The world needs more women.

His words are really touching for all the corners of our reality nowadays. I found that he is really a pastor, people are so thirsty, and hunger for listening to the word of God and Pope Francis came on time to give a drink and food to the people especially to those who are poor and marginalized. As I reflected over this event I found that the Pope carries his own bag. How about us/ how about me? How can we sustain the message of the Pope? These are the questions that arise in me and I found it’s really challenging for me and at the same time I felt full of hope after his visit to the Philippines.

Thank you Pope Francis for inspiring us to be transformed and to be better people for others and for God. Thank you for touching our hearts so that we may think like Jesus, feel like Jesus and act like Jesus. Thank you for leading us by example and most of all, thank you for your generosity of your time and your prayer.

After attending this encounter of Pope Francis with the youth in UST, I felt deep gratitude and give thanks to the Lord, the community and the OSA sisters for giving me this opportunity to witness and to be part of this event.

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