“The Cross is the word through which God has responded to evil in the world.” With these words, Francis closed his first Way of the Cross in the Coliseum as Bishop of Rome, during a brief speech that foreshadowed his future preaching centered on pardon and mercy. The Pontiff explained, in an original manner, the meaning of the immolation of the Lamb of God, who had offered his life on the Cross to transmit a word of love, stronger than that of justice.
“O Lord God Almighty, the Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the knowledge of You, the God of angels and powers, and of every creature, and of the whole race of the righteous who live before you, I give You thanks that You have counted me, worthy of this day and this hour, that I should have a part in the number of Your martyrs, in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection of eternal life, both of soul and body, through the incorruption [imparted] by the Holy Ghost. Among whom may I be accepted this day before You as a fat and acceptable sacrifice, according as You, the ever-truthful God, have foreordained, have revealed beforehand to me, and now have fulfilled. Wherefore also I praise You for all things, I bless You, I glorify You, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son, with whom, to You, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we find the intriguing story of an Ethiopian, minister of the Queen of Candace, who had travelled to Jerusalem to adore the true God. However, this high functionary of the court returned to his country full of uncertainties with respect to the Scriptures, which he meditated on without grasping their true meaning.
Advertizing, news, social networks…we are bombarded on all sides by information…But the information we receive is often contradictory. Who should we listen to? What path should we follow? Where is the real truth to be found?
Conscience is the sacred place where we find ourselves alone with God, where the most important matter of our existence is decided: the salvation or loss of our souls.
A light word, in certain circumstances is considered normal, for it’s a natural way of making human relationships more pleasant. But, this jesting must be done with equilibrium and respect. Consequently, it’s easy to understand that certain situations do not permit this means of expression, especially by those who hold more elevated positions. For example, what would we think of a Head of State who cracks a joke at the funeral of a victim of terrorism?
The contemplation of the imposing drama of the Last Judgment has always been of immense benefit to the faithful; and even in our days, it’s an efficacious element for awakening consciences and calling to conversion. A subject that appears with clarity and frequency in the Sacred Scriptures, the Last Judgment holds great pastoral value and is easily understandable by all. The Church condenses this truth of the faith in the definitive and simple words that Catholics pray daily in the Creed: Christ will come ‘to judge the living and the dead.’