Vatican City, Aug 30, 2020 / 04:35 am
Pope Francis said Sunday the crucifix we wear or hang on our wall is not supposed to be decorative, but a reminder of God’s love and the sacrifices involved in the Christian life.
“The cross is the holy sign of God’s Love and a sign of Jesus’ Sacrifice, and is not to be reduced to a superstitious object or an ornamental necklace,” the pope said in his Angelus address Aug. 30.
Speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, he he explained that, “as a result, if we want to be [God’s] disciples, we are called to imitate him, expending our life unreservedly out of love of God and neighbor.”
“The life of Christians is always a struggle,” Francis emphasized. “The Bible says that the life of the believer is a militancy: fighting against the bad spirit, fighting against Evil.”
The pope’s teaching centered on the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew, when Jesus begins to reveal to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed, and on the third day be raised.
“At the prospect that Jesus may fail and die on the cross, Peter himself resists and says to Him: ‘God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you!’ (v. 22),” the pope recounted. “He believes in Jesus; he wants to follow Him, but does not accept that His glory will pass through the Passion.”
He said “for Peter and the other disciples – but for us too! – the cross is something uncomfortable, a ‘scandal,’” adding that for Jesus, the real “scandal” would be to escape the cross and avoid the Father’s will, “the mission that the Father has entrusted to Him for our salvation.”
According to Pope Francis, “for this reason, Jesus responds to Peter: ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a scandal to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men.’”