Kaunas, Lithuania, Sep 23, 2018 / 05:14 am
As can be seen throughout history, the life of a Christian cannot escape the sacrifices and sorrows of the cross, Pope Francis said Sunday at Mass in Lithuania.
“The Christian life always involves experiences of the cross; at times they can seem interminable.”
“Earlier generations still bear the scars of the period of the [Soviet] occupation, anguish at those who were deported, uncertainty about those who never returned, shame for those who were informers and traitors,” he said Sept. 23.
Pope Francis spoke about the cross at Mass during his second day of a four-day visit to the Baltic states. The Mass was celebrated for around 100,000 people in Kaunas, Lithuania. He will also visit Estonia and Latvia.
The disciples in the day’s Gospel, he said, did not want Jesus to speak about sorrows and the cross, “they wanted nothing to do with trials and hardships,” but wanted to discuss who was the greatest among them.
The thirst for power and glory is a sign that someone has failed to heal from the memories of the past, and perhaps to take “an active part in the tasks of the present,” he continued. “For there is nothing truly human that does not find an echo in the heart of Christ’s disciples.”
Because when a community feels “true and profound solidarity with all humanity,” he said, “and its history,” they want to spend their lives in joyful service, making known their hope in Jesus Christ.
“That is why we are here today. We want to welcome Jesus, in his word, in the Eucharist, in his little ones,” Francis said. “To welcome him so that he can heal our memory and accompany us in this present time that presents us with exciting challenges and signposts, so that we can follow him as his disciples.