Born for a mission. Endowed with a vision. Living in sanctity. Destined for immortality. This is Pope John Paul II.
Millions saw and know him. Millions love him. Millions are now praying for him.
While still healthy and strong, he taught the reality of God and the truth about man. Now that he is sick and weak, he is still teaching about life and suffering, still preaching about hope and pain.
He was shot once. He was operated thrice. He has been sick and fragile for years. Yet humanity continued to be his flock. The globe has long become his concern. The young people have been the object of his special affection. And rightly so, they are the hope of the Church. They are the future of the world.
The value of human life. The significance of human dignity. The truth of human right. The imperative of human freedom. These are some of the teachings that he affirmed and confirmed.
Thus it is that he is the Pope of the Church, but he is also the father of all peoples—irrespective of their race, color and creed. Only a Pope can serve that much. Only a father can love that well.
When he visited us, we shouted “Mabuhay!” Now that he seems to be leaving us, we also shout “Mabuhay!”
2 April 2005