Pope Francis spoke about the sacrifice of the cross, explaining how as followers of Christ we must embrace suffering, because it is through the suffering and death of Christ that his love is made known to us.
“Always, even today, the temptation is to follow a Christ without a cross, rather, to teach God the right path,” the Pope said. Like Peter we maybe say: “No, this will never happen.”
“But Jesus reminds us that his way is the way of love,” Francis said, and there is no true love without Christ’s self-sacrifice. We must embrace suffering, because as Christ told his disciples: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”
Christians cannot be absorbed by the world’s vision to live an easy life, but rather to go “against the current,” pointing out the challenge to self-centeredness found in Christ’s words, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my cause will find it.”
“In this paradox is contained the golden rule that God has inscribed into the human nature created in Christ: the rule that only love gives meaning and happiness to life,” Pope Francis said.
Spending our time, talents and our energy only to save and take care of ourselves actually leads to loss, to a “sad and sterile existence,” he explained. Whereas, if we live our lives for the Lord, set on fire with love, then our lives will be fruitful and we will have genuine joy.