(Vatican Radio) The people of Colombia are awaiting the arrival of Pope Francis with joy and trepidation.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to flock to the cities of Bogotà, Villavicencio, Medellin, and Cartagena to participate in papal events or simply to line the streets in welcome as their “friend” Pope Francis comes to support them in their faith and bring them the Gospel's message of hope.
Diana Lucia Benitez is a Catholic community journalist in Bogotà. She shares with Vatican Radio her thoughts and feelings regarding Pope Francis’s visit to Colombia.
The visit of Pope Francis is a moment of grace and happiness for all, because it carries with it the possibility of transformation in our country with actions that help those most in need, so ‘Take the first step’ is our invitation.
The Holy Father is a missionary of reconciliation and peace. He carries consolation, speaks about the gestures of dialoge and service towards others, towards those who are exiled, marginalized and excluded.
But why is this pastoral visit so important? Some reasons include to following:
The care for life, for the family as a place and school of peace; the diversity of vocations in the Church; the respect for human rights, the care for ecology in the life of Christians, as well as other situations that we have in our country in this moment; emphasizing a culture of encounter.
Let us remember that the Pope Francis is a sower and fisher of men, that he invites us to break the paradigms that bind us and believe in the hope of God. It is necesary to put ourselves in His hands, and trust in His mercy. On the other hand, the Virgin Mary is the one who gives comfort to whoever asks. She is the mother of all. She is our intercessor, so it is necessary to pray to her.
I would finally like to recall the words of Pope Francis: "We must never lose the charm of dreaming of a different path". It is most important in the life of a Christian: Believe and not lose faith.
(Diana Lucía Benítez)