Nailed to the cross, the Pope taught, "Jesus unites himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenseless; with the cross, he is united to families in trouble, those who mourn the loss of their children, or who suffer when they see them fall victim to false paradises, such as that offered by drugs."
"On the cross, Jesus is united with every person who suffers from hunger in a world where tons of food is thrown out each day; on the cross, Jesus is united with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the color of their skin; on the cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption."
"He unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the church, or even in God because of the counter-witness of Christians and ministers of the Gospel."
Humanity's sin and suffering – "including our own" – is on the Cross, Pope Francis said. Jesus accepts this "with open arms, bearing on his shoulders our crosses," he added.
Christ carries our crosses, the Pope said, and tells us: "Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you. I have overcome death and I have come to give you hope, to give you life."
The cross gives us an assurance of "the unshakable love which God has for us," Pope Francis preached.
"A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us."
Jesus' cross contains "all the love of God, his immeasurable mercy."
This love is a love in which we can have faith, Pope Francis said. "Dear young people, let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, let us give ourselves over entirely to him!"
Christ is the source of "hope and life," he said, who has conquered "evil, suffering, and death" through the wood of his cross.
Pope Francis addressed the people of Brazil, noting that "the suffering Christ is keenly felt here," but that "there is no cross … in our life with the Lord does not share with us."
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The lesson of the cross, the Pope taught, is to look with "mercy and tenderness" on our neighbors.
He took note of the many people who were part of the first way of the cross: "Pilate, Simon of Cyrene, Mary, the women …"
"Sometimes we can be like Pilate," the Bishop of Rome lamented, washing our hands of a situation instead of having "the courage to go against the tide to save Jesus' life."
"Dear friends, the cross of Christ teaches us to be like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus to carry that heavy wood; it teaches us to be like Mary and the other women, who were not afraid to accompany Jesus all the way to the end, with love and tenderness."
"And you? Who are you like? Like Pilate? Like Simon? Like Mary?"
The Pope urged the pilgrims to bring, with him, "to Christ's cross our joys, our sufferings and our failures."