“But, it's not such an easy thing,” he noted.
“In walking, in building, in confession, sometimes there are shocks, there are movements, moments that are not proper to our journey. They are movements that drag us backwards.”
Pope Francis then turned his thoughts to the Gospel reading from Matthew in which Peter confesses Jesus is the Christ.
“This is the same Peter who confesses to Christ, who says ‘you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. I will follow you, but let's not speak of crosses! This has nothing to do with it. I will follow you with other possibilities, without the Cross,’” he said, characterizing Peter’s reaction.
“And, if we walk without the Cross, how much do we build without the Cross? And, when we confess Christ without the Cross, then we are not disciples of the Lord.”
The Pope then applied his words to himself and his brother cardinals, saying, “We might be bishops, priests, cardinals and Popes, but we are not disciples of the Lord” if we leave the Cross behind.
“I would like all of us, after these days of grace, to have the courage, precisely the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the cross of the Lord, to edify the Church in the blood of the Lord poured out on the cross and to confess the only glory, that of Christ crucified. And, in this way, the Church will move forward,” he said as he finished his homily.
Pope Francis’ next event will be a congratulatory meeting with all of the cardinals, both those who are retired and those who are still active, at 1:00 p.m. in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall.
On Saturday morning, he will hold an audience with journalists and media personnel in the Paul VI Hall, as his predecessors did.
Pope Francis will pray the Angelus and make remarks from the window of his apartment at noon on Sunday.
He will be installed as Pope on March 19 at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square.