Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Manila's cathedral, along with Filipino bishops, seminarians and consecrated people.
A little confusion led to a funny moment when Pope Francis began his homily quoting a question from the Gospel.
"Do you love me?”
"Thank you very much!”
During his homily Pope Francis talked about the poor. He started by saying that Filipino society has got used to great social inequalities.
"The Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat the causes of the deeply rooted inequality and injustice which mar the face of Filipino society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ.”
He called on religious people to be "ambassadors of Christ.” He asked them not to give up to materialism, but rather to reach out to the poor. Once more, he denounced social exclusion in the country.
"We will see things in a new light and thus respond with honesty and integrity to the challenge of proclaiming the radicalism of the Gospel in a society which has grown comfortable with social exclusion, polarization and scandalous inequality.”
The Pope also especially addressed to Filipino young priests and seminarians. He told them that young people are disappointed and don't know how to tackle all the corruption and poverty they come across.
"Be present to young people who may be confused and despondent, yet continue to see the Church as their friend on the journey and a source of hope. Be present to those who, living in the midst of a society burdened by poverty and corruption, are broken in spirit, tempted to give up, to leave school and to live on the streets.”
The Pope encouraged everyone to give testimony of the Christian message and its beauty, especially regarding marriage and family life.
Before the Mass ended, Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle thanked Pope Francis his visiting the Philippines.
CARD. LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE
Archbishop of Manila (The Philippines)
"You bring fire, not to destroy but to purify. You bring an earthquake not to shatter but to awaken. You bring weapons not to kill but to assure, to encourage. Indeed you are Peter, the Rock upon which Jesus builds his Church.”
Roughly 2,000 people attended the ceremony. But a larger crowd was enthusiastically waiting for him outside the cathedral.