In recent news, Pope Francis visited Manila, Phillipines. It was a record breaking visit, the last visit by a Pope in 1995 was still an astounding figure, five million Catholics back then were in attendance to see Pope John Paul II.
With a Christian population that easily outnumbers the population in Britain, you could say a crowd the size of a major world city travelled to the Filipino capital to see this icon.
So what happened? What did he do there? Well, reading reports it appears he dedicated the event to the devastating 2013 Typhoon Haiyan.
Topics also covered were helping the poor, the importance of family and looking after the environment.
The first thought to go through my head when seeing the images of this gargantuan mass was of the weather. Six million devoted Catholics with Jesus in their hearts flocking to see the next best thing.
It pissed down with rain.
It literally rained on their parade, apparently the event wasn’t worthy of any sunshine. Maybe it was the tears of God from all the wrong we are doing? Food for thought.
What I struggle to get my head around is that faith in God is so strong that people have flocked from across the nation to witness a once in a life opportunity, seeing the Pope on his 6- day tour of Asia. Yet everything about the visit was typically human, nothing spiritual occurred.
Six million! It sounds like it was fairly peaceful too. If there was any violence it mustn’t have been any major clashes as the only news to hit the headlines were of the sheer numbers in attendance. This doesn’t go without my admiration.
But the reason for this post is the following question:
Why do so many people have such a strong faith in God but are happy to settle with the Pope simply telling us to improve?
What then is the purpose of the Vatican? They claim God exists, yet we settle for doing the work.
God gets praise, we do the work to make the world a better place.
The crowds couldn’t have flocked to Manila hoping for miracles, but rather for a sense of community, togetherness and hope.
After all what is the point in a religion if all you get from a supermassive gathering of one faith, is instructions on how to make the world a safer place ourselves?
Doesn’t this stand out as a major factor in concluding God is absent from our lives? How does this religion stand out from any other?
It doesn’t, it just proves that people need hope during desperate times. It is either that or that people are happy to not just settle with, but worship a God that doesn’t do anything.
I hope it is not the latter.