The Cross is the certainty of God’s steadfast love for us

JMJ day 5-845

Rio de Janeiro, 26 July Yesterday’s programme was also very intense: the theme of the catachisese was mission, that is born from the need of the heart to communicate Jesus to others and a sign of authenticity of our faith.

Meanwhile in the marvelous “Quinta da Boa Vista” park, the sacrament of reconciliation was taking place. The Pope himself took confession with five young people.

the park is also where the “Vocational Fair” was set up: a festive exposition where around 100 stands revealed to the youngsters the life of the Church


Another stage in the Pope’s itinerary of the suffering youth was his private meeting with young prisoners; six young men and two young women in the Archbishops palace. One of the girls was so touched that she sang a song for the Holy Father and read a letter on behalf of her fellow prisoners. The Pope prayed the Our Father with the boys and said “no more violence, only love”, encouraging them to look to the future.


From the Archbishop’s balcony Pope Francis then recited the Angelus, saying some words to the crowd that was praying with him: “the young and the old build the future of the people; the children insofar as they take history forward, the old insofar as they transmit the experience and wisdom of their life”. Pope Francis drew from this phrase contained in the document of Aparecida, in order to celebrate grandparents, on the day dedicated to them, that in Brazil as in other countries, coincides with the festivities of the saints Joachim and Anna.


Even lunchtime today proved to be a moment for the youth to meet with the Pope: twelve young people from every continent shared their lunch with him, which lasted an hour and a half. “Extremely moving” - said Philip Thomson from New Zealand - “When the Pope asked us: ‘why is it that while you are here having lunch with the Pope, there are people that are hungry?’ He made us understand that we have a great responsibility, which was to share this experience with others and to be living witnesses of Christ.”


Finally, the“Via Crucis” or “Way of the Cross” was prayed along the Copacabana beach. The 14 Stations were read by various young people, and its theme was the many dramas of man today.


At the end of the representations, Pope Francis continued the reflection that has been unfolding in these days, together with the youth that are participating in WYD: “No-one can touch the Cross of Christ without leaving something of himself and without bringing something of the Cross of Jesus into his own life.” Recalling the “sent out” Blessed John Paul II that in 1984, at the end of the Holy Year of Redemption, entrusted the Cross to the youth themselves so that they could take it out into the world as ‘a ‘sign of the love of Jesus for humanity”.


Pope Francis remembered that “The Cross has travelled through all the continents and the most varied worlds of man’s existence, remaining almost saturated with the situations of life of the many youth that have seen it and carried it.” Thus the Pope put forward three questions: “What have you left in the Cross, dear youth of Brazil, in the two years that it has travelled your immense country? And what has the Cross of Christ left for each one of you? Finally, what does this Cross teach us in our lives?”


The Pope at this point illustrated the meaning of the Cross of Jesus in the life of humanity, affirming that “in the Cross of Christ there is suffering, the sin of man, also our own, and He welcomes all of us with open arms”. He then explained that the Cross is “the certainty of God’s steadfast love for us. A love so big that it enters our sin and forgives it, enters our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it.” Then turning in particular to the Brazilians present at the “Via Crucis”, Pope Francis said: ‘The first name given to Brazil was “Land of the Holy Cross”. The Cross of Christ was planted not only on the beach more than five centuries ago, but also in your history, in the hearts and lives of the Brazilian people and not only. We feel the suffering Christ near us, one of us, who shares our way until the end. There is no cross, little or big, in our lives that the Lord does not share with us.”


In the final part of his meditation on the “Via Crucis” the Pope invited the youth to choose who to impersonate in the Gospels: “And you, who are you? Like Pilate, or Simon of Cyrene, like Mary?”, encouraging the youth to entrust themselves to the Cross of Christ, bringing “our joys, sufferings, failings”. Lastly, Pope Francis assured that “”we will find an open Heart that understands us, forgives us, loves us and asks us to bring this same love into our life, to love every brother and sister with this same love.”

Rio de Janeiro, 26 July Yesterday’s programme was also very intense: the theme of the catachisese was mission, that is born from the need of the heart to communicate Jesus to others and a sign of authenticity of our faith.


Meanwhile in the marvelous “Quinta da Boa Vista” park, the sacrament of reconciliation was taking place. The Pope himself took confession with five young people.


the park is also where the “Vocational Fair” was set up: a festive exposition where around 100 stands revealed to the youngsters the life of the Church


Another stage in the Pope’s itinerary of the suffering youth was his private meeting with young prisoners; six young men and two young women in the Archbishops palace. One of the girls was so touched that she sang a song for the Holy Father and read a letter on behalf of her fellow prisoners. The Pope prayed the Our Father with the boys and said “no more violence, only love”, encouraging them to look to the future.


From the Archbishop’s balcony Pope Francis then recited the Angelus, saying some words to the crowd that was praying with him: “the young and the old build the future of the people; the children insofar as they take history forward, the old insofar as they transmit the experience and wisdom of their life”. Pope Francis drew from this phrase contained in the document of Aparecida, in order to celebrate grandparents, on the day dedicated to them, that in Brazil as in other countries, coincides with the festivities of the saints Joachim and Anna.


Even lunchtime today proved to be a moment for the youth to meet with the Pope: twelve young people from every continent shared their lunch with him, which lasted an hour and a half. “Extremely moving” - said Philip Thomson from New Zealand - “When the Pope asked us: ‘why is it that while you are here having lunch with the Pope, there are people that are hungry?’ He made us understand that we have a great responsibility, which was to share this experience with others and to be living witnesses of Christ.”


Finally, the“Via Crucis” or “Way of the Cross” was prayed along the Copacabana beach. The 14 Stations were read by various young people, and its theme was the many dramas of man today.


At the end of the representations, Pope Francis continued the reflection that has been unfolding in these days, together with the youth that are participating in WYD: “No-one can touch the Cross of Christ without leaving something of himself and without bringing something of the Cross of Jesus into his own life.” Recalling the “sent out” Blessed John Paul II that in 1984, at the end of the Holy Year of Redemption, entrusted the Cross to the youth themselves so that they could take it out into the world as ‘a ‘sign of the love of Jesus for humanity”.


Pope Francis remembered that “The Cross has travelled through all the continents and the most varied worlds of man’s existence, remaining almost saturated with the situations of life of the many youth that have seen it and carried it.” Thus the Pope put forward three questions: “What have you left in the Cross, dear youth of Brazil, in the two years that it has travelled your immense country? And what has the Cross of Christ left for each one of you? Finally, what does this Cross teach us in our lives?”


The Pope at this point illustrated the meaning of the Cross of Jesus in the life of humanity, affirming that “in the Cross of Christ there is suffering, the sin of man, also our own, and He welcomes all of us with open arms”. He then explained that the Cross is “the certainty of God’s steadfast love for us. A love so big that it enters our sin and forgives it, enters our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it.” Then turning in particular to the Brazilians present at the “Via Crucis”, Pope Francis said: ‘The first name given to Brazil was “Land of the Holy Cross”. The Cross of Christ was planted not only on the beach more than five centuries ago, but also in your history, in the hearts and lives of the Brazilian people and not only. We feel the suffering Christ near us, one of us, who shares our way until the end. There is no cross, little or big, in our lives that the Lord does not share with us.”


In the final part of his meditation on the “Via Crucis” the Pope invited the youth to choose who to impersonate in the Gospels: “And you, who are you? Like Pilate, or Simon of Cyrene, like Mary?”, encouraging the youth to entrust themselves to the Cross of Christ, bringing “our joys, sufferings, failings”. Lastly, Pope Francis assured that “”we will find an open Heart that understands us, forgives us, loves us and asks us to bring this same love into our life, to love every brother and sister with this same love.”


The Cross is the certainty of God’s steadfast love for us



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