Home is the Pope

Pope John Paul II will be laid to rest this coming Friday. We Filipinos join the rest of the world in praying for his soul. Leading the Catholic Church, in this day and age is no easy task -- but Pope John Paul II was more than up to it.

Some people have expressed sadness at the passing away of the Pope, much like missing a departed family member, I guess. I look at things as a moving on to his real destination. His room is ready in Our Father's House.

Did you ever get to see the Pope personally or up close? During the World Youth Day in 1995 here in the Philippines, I braved the crowds at the PICC complex to be able to hear mass celebrated by the Pope. It didn't matter that the sun was hot or that there were really no seats or things were not too comfortable, this was a once in a lifetime thing.

And on the day that he left Manila, I remember my officemates and I went out into the streets, waited along Roxas Boulevard, hoping to catch a glimpse of him in his Popemobile. We were not to be disappointed. After waiting awhile, we saw the Popemobile coming our way and there he was! We waved at him like crazy and just as he passed the spot where we were, he turned to stare and smile right at us. He was truly a charismatic person. With no words -- just merely a stare, a smile, and a wave, you felt that you were truly in the presence of a good and blessed human being who cared about you personally. Who cares if he didn't even know you by name?

And so, go on home Pope John Paul II. We celebrate a life given in service to the Church and to our God -- down to the final days. 2 Timothy 4: 7 is a perfect description of Pope John Paul II's life: "I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith." (TEV)

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, April 5, 2005]

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