An Answered Prayer…

Matutunghayan ang reflections ni Ms. Theresa Bautista, matapos makiisa sa “Encounter with Families” nang dumating si Pope Francis sa Pilipinas. Kinatawan si Ms. Bautista ng Parokya ng San Isidro Labrador. I never thought that the opportunity I have had in 1995 during the World Youth Day won’t happen again. I was once a youth animator then. Meeting Pope John Paul II was a significant experience indeed and it has made me realize of my important role as a teacher in molding the youth. When I learned of Pope Francis’ coming to the Philippines, I started praying. And I guess God heard my prayers for after 20 years, I was blessed to see in person our Pope Francis during the “Encounter with Families” at the MOA Arena on January 16, 2015. His Holiness gave all of us an unexplainable emotion. I am in tears while smiling. His mere presence made me feel “how great is the love of God for me… for us.” I watched every move he made and I saw his great compassion for the elderly, the physically challenged, the babies and the OFWs–whom he addressed as heroes of their families. He epitomizes the reason why Jesus came–to be with the poor and the abandoned. Pope Francis shared his reflection on the Gospel according to Matthew (21:13-15. 19-23). First, he said that we must REST IN THE LORD. To rest in the Lord means to rest in prayer. We need to be in silence for awhile in order to know the plan of God for us. He also mentioned of his deep devotion to St. Joseph. On his table at Vatican, he has this image of a sleeping St. Joseph. Whenever he has a problem, he writes it on a piece of paper and asks St. JOSEPH to dream about it and to whisper the answer to him. Second, RISE UP WITH JESUS. Just like St. Joseph whom he addressed as a silent worker, we must be missionaries of our faith. We must act in protecting our families from ideological colonization that tends to destroy our families. Materialism and lack of trust threaten to corrupt our very own family. The Pope challenges us to protect our family which is the future of the society. He encourages us to ask the intercession of St. Joseph to guide us in saying NO to colonization and YES to love our family. He reiterated that we have to GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD FOR THE GIFT OF FAMILY. Finally, he challenges us to BE A BLESSING TO THE WORLD. Today is the YEAR OF THE POOR. He asks us to go an extra mile for the poor, the orphan and the elderly. We have to TAKE FORWARD OUR FAMILY TO THE WORLD in order to create and build a larger and stronger family in Christ. As he ended his reflection, he asked for our prayers for him… he said that he badly needs our prayers. My encounter with Pope Francis made me realize of my special role as a mother to my three kids, my role as a wife, my role as a daughter and sister, and my role to my community and the people I deal with each day. I also learned that I must not count on my failures but rather on the blessings I am receiving each day. He said and I quote “Never stop from dreaming. When you lose the capacity to dream, you lose your capacity to love.” The POPE has gone back to Vatican but we as individuals touched by His Holiness must put into action the POPE FRANCIS MANIA alive. And if and only if we realize the significance we are creating each day to others, then WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD WE’LL HAVE. Thank you for allowing me to shout out my heart’s content on Pope Francis. THERESA C. BAUTISTA Mother, wife, teacher

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