During a visit Sunday to the northern Italian city of Capri, Pope Francis assured his prayers for the many victims of terrible mudslides that struck Colombia last week.
On Friday, downpours caused three rivers around the city of Mocoa to overflow their banks. Mud and debris went rushing through the city and more than 250 people were killed.
Pope Francis promised his spiritual closeness and prayer for the families of the victims and for those who sustained injuries. He also expressed his gratitude for the many people engaged in relief efforts.
Let’s join the pope in praying for the victims, by reflecting with the words Francis spoke during a homily in the Philippines in 2015, when he went to visit the country after Typhoon Yolanda.
I am here to tell you that Jesus is Lord; that Jesus does not disappoint. “Father,” one of you may tell me, “he disappointed me because I lost my house, I lost my family, I lost everything I had, I am sick.” What you say is true and I respect your feelings, but I see him there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not disappoint us. He was consecrated Lord on that throne, and there he experienced all the disasters we experience. Jesus is Lord! And he is Lord from the cross, from there he reigned. That is why, as we heard in the first reading, he can understand us: he became like us in every way. So we have a Lord who is able to weep with us, who can be at our side through life’s most difficult moments. So many of you have lost everything. I do not know what to tell you. But surely he knows what to tell you! So many of you have lost members of your family. I can only be silent; I accompany you silently, with my heart… Many of you looked to Christ and asked: Why, Lord? To each of you the Lord responds from his heart. I have no other words to say to you. Let us look to Christ: he is the Lord, and he understands us, for he experienced all the troubles we experience. With him, beneath the cross, is his Mother. We are like that child who stands down there, who, in times of sorrow and pain, times when we understand nothing, times when we want to rebel, can only reach out and cling to her skirts and say to her: “Mother!” Like a little child who is frightened and says: “Mother.” Perhaps that is the only word which can express all the feelings we have in those dark moments: Mother! Let us be still for a moment and look to the Lord. He can understand us, for he experienced all these things. And let us look to our Mother, and like that little child, let us reach out, cling to her skirts and say to her in our hearts: “Mother.” Let us make this prayer in silence; let everyone say it whatever way he or she feels… We are not alone; we have a Mother; we have Jesus, our older brother. We are not alone. And we also have many brothers and sisters who, when the disaster struck, came to our assistance. We too feel more like brothers and sisters whenever we help one another, whenever we help each other.