pope-spotlight_3168594kThis is a sad story amid the euphoria of the pastoral visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines.

A lot of Filipino Catholics who are suffering from various forms of physical illness wished for an opportunity to be prayed for by the pope. A neighbor of ours, who had been undergoing dialysis treatments for quite some time now, got his wish. He was one of those selected to be prayed for. Naturally, he was excited about this good fortune. Unfortunately, he got too excited that he couldn’t sleep. Going sleepless for a few nights aggravated his condition and he ended up at the ICU a week before the pope arrived in Manila. He missed the opportunity he wished for because he never got to meet the pope.

This fellow’s misfortune is ironic and really sad. In his desire to perhaps receive divine healing through the prayers of his pastor, his condition actually got worse. I pray that I would get the opportunity to visit and pray for him. I am nowhere close to the stature of Pope Francis but as a child of the heavenly Father, I am confident that He listens to my prayers.

I have been trying to think of stories in the Bible of people who wished for something that they considered as good, but in the end, it was not.

  • I thought about Lot who chose to live near Sodom because the area appeared to be very fertile (Genesis 13:10-13). However, it turned out that the people there were so wicked that the Lord passed judgment on them.
  • When King Hezekiah became gravely ill, he prayed for healing. God responded by extending his life for 15 years (2 Kings 20:1-6). Three years after God healed him, his son Manasseh was born. Manasseh reigned in Jerusalem for 55 years and became the most wicked king of Judah.

Paul said that “we do not know what we ought to pray for” (Romans 8:26). We are limited in so many ways. What we wish for may seem good to us, but it ultimately may not be good at all. That is why we need to learn how to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit because it is He “who intercedes for us in accordance to God’s will” (Romans 8:27).

Reliance on the Holy Spirit–this helps align what we wish for with the will of God.

Photo credit: Getty, The Telegraph

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2 thoughts on “He was supposed to meet Pope Francis

  1. It was really sad to see the multitudes putting their empty trust on someone who they think can fill the vacuum in their heart. While the churches are sitting complacently on the church pews, enjoying the air con auditorium, entertained by the penetrating tempo of the choir and challenged by the preacher, many Pinoys are looking where to find the answer.
    We Christians most often fail to reach out even to our neighbors who are among those multitudes who lined up just to have a glimpse of the pope. We know the answer but we keep it to ourselves… We do not care enough…

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