The first major Mass of the Pope's trip to Latin America took place at Samanes Park in Guayaquil. Hundreds of thousands of people exuded anticipation as they waited for the Pope. They came from places like Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and even Puerto Rico.
During his Homily, Pope Francis commented on the Gospel reading about the wedding where the Virgin Mary realizes that wine has run out.
"Wine is a sign of happiness, love and plenty. How many of our adolescents and young people sense that these are no longer found in their homes?”.
In the Gospel reading, Mary sought help from Jesus, who went on to perform his first miracle. The Pope recommended families follow the example of the Virgin, because she trusted Christ with her problems. Moved by love, she was not overwhelmed by difficulties. The family, he said, is something that is worth fighting for.
"The family is the nearest hospital, when one is sick, they are caregivers who help as they can. The family is the first school for the young, the essential point of reference for young people, the best home for the elderly. The family constitutes the best 'social capital.' It cannot be replaced by other institutions. It needs to be helped and strengthened.”
The Pope concluded his homily with a hopeful message for families. He told them that the best has yet to come. Because Jesus, in the Gospel, turned water into wine. Something that had not had flavor became one of the key parts of the celebration.
"And the best wine is yet to come. It will come in spite of all the variables and statistics which say otherwise. Jesus feels their weakness, in order to pour out the best wines for those who, for whatever reason, feel that all their jars have been broken.”
During the ceremony, Pope Francis used a simple staff made of wood. The orchestra played traditional string instruments from Latin America. The Pope asked the pilgrims to pray for the upcoming Synod of the Family, and he also offered his own prayers for their own families.