Francis in the Philippines

There are many memorable moments from Pope Francis’ recent visit to the Philippines.

One of the most touching was his encounter with a young girl who had lived her whole life in poverty. She asked the pope: “Why did God let this happen to us?”

There are no words to answer this girl’s question. Not even Pope Francis had the words. “Only when we too can cry about the things that you said are we able to come close to replying to that question,” Pope Francis said.

The pope had a similar message for the survivors of the devastating 2013 typhoon that hit Tacloban. Pope Francis braved stormy weather to visit the people of Tacloban. Spectators were soaked by rain of an approaching tropical storm. But the weather didn’t stop the pope from being there, from being present with the people of Tacloban.

So many times, we want answers — either to hear them or to give them. Pope Francis is showing us that our presence and even our tears are enough. They show that we are ready to accompany the poor and those who suffer on their journey. No words required.

Share the articles linked above with your young adults and use these questions to get a discussion started.

  • What struck you most about Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines? Do any images from the media stick out to you?
  • How have you experienced God’s presence through the presence of a friend? How have you given comfort by “just being there”?
  • What comforts you or even challenges you when you hear the pope’s reply to the little girl’s question?