For confession, the Pope spoke of the confession of faith, which means "to acknowledge in Jesus the long-awaited Messiah, the living God, the Lord of our lives."
We should ask ourselves, he said, if we are "parlor Christians," who only love to sit and chat about how things are going in the Church and the world, or "apostles on the go," people "who confess Jesus with their lives because they hold him in their hearts."
We can't be half-hearted, he urged, but must be on fire with love for Christ, not looking for the easy way out, but daily risking ourselves to put out "into the deep."
"Those who confess their faith in Jesus do as Peter and Paul did: they follow him to the end – not just part of the way, but to the very end."
But doing so isn't easy, and that's when we come to the second word, he explained, because following the way of Christ, also means facing the cross and persecution.
Peter and Paul shed their blood for Christ, as well as the early Christian community as a whole. Even today, he continued, a great number of Christians are persecuted.
The Pope emphasized the words of the Apostle Paul, who said "to live was Christ, Christ crucified, who gave his life for him."
"Apart from the cross, there is no Christ, but apart from the cross, there can be no Christian either," Francis stated.
The Christian is called to "tolerate evil," but tolerating evil doesn't mean simply having patience and resignation, he explained, it means imitating Christ, accepting the cross with confidence, carrying the burden for Christ's sake and for the sake of others – all the while knowing that we are not alone.
"Tolerating evil," he continued, "means overcoming it with Jesus, and in Jesus' own way, which is not the way of the world."
This is why St. Paul writes: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." The essence of this "good fight," the Pope emphasized, was living "for Jesus and for others," giving your all. There is only one thing that Paul kept in his life, and that is his faith.
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"Out of love, he experienced trials, humiliations and suffering, which are never to be sought but always accepted. In the mystery of suffering offered up in love, in this mystery, embodied in our own day by so many of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, impoverished and infirm, the saving power of Jesus' cross shines forth."
Lastly, Pope Francis said that the life of an apostle must be a life of constant prayer.
"Prayer is the water needed to nurture hope and increase fidelity. Prayer makes us feel loved and it enables us to love in turn. It makes us press forward in moments of darkness because it brings God's light. In the Church, it is prayer that sustains us and helps us to overcome difficulties."
When St. Peter was in prison, it tell us in the Acts of the Apostles that "earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church."
"A Church that prays is watched over and cared for by the Lord. When we pray, we entrust our lives to him and to his loving care," he said.
Francis concluded by praying that the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, may "obtain for us a heart like theirs."