This time fresh off the press/internet this morning.
Pope Francis seems to have quite a way with words – and I note that he was preaching extempore. But what a message! This is powerful stuff. And I do hope that Pastor Mark is listening, because that sounds to me like an authentic theology of the cross that the Holy Father was preaching.
[I]f we do not confess Jesus Christ, the thing does not work. We will become a welfare NGO but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. …When we do not confess Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the words of Léon Bloy: “Whoever does not pray to the Lord, prays to the devil.” When we do not confess Jesus Christ, we confess the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon.
…The same Peter who had confessed Jesus Christ said to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let’s not talk about the cross. This is not a part of it. I will follow you in other directions, but not to the cross. When we journey without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess a Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly [lit. mundane], we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
I would like for us all, after these days of grace, to have courage, precisely the courage, to walk in the Lord’s presence, with the cross of the Lord; to build the Church upon the blood of the Lord, which was poured out on the cross; and to confess the only glory there is: Christ crucified. And in this way the Church will go forward.
It is my wish for all of us that the Holy Spirit – through the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother – bestow upon us the grace of journeying, building, confessing Jesus Christ crucified. Amen.
Of course, Pastor Mark will not like the fact that the Holy Father spoke of the prayer of Our Lady. But there it is. Evangelical Catholicism. Get used to it.
We have heard a lot about Pope Francis’ simplicity of life, but this short homily shows he has a “simplicity of preaching”, which gets right to the core of the Christian kerygma: “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2).