Following the Lord on the path of the Cross, renews our way of thinking, says Pope
At the Angelus, Benedict XVI highlights the "divergence" between "the Father's plan of love that comes to His giving of His only begotten Son on the Cross to save mankind" and the "expectations, desires, plans of the disciples ". When life "is directed only at social success, physical and economic well-being, we no longer reason according to God, but to man". The enthusiastic greetings of young people, returning from the recently held World Youth Day.
Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - "May each of us know how to follow the Lord on the path of the Cross and allow ourselves be transformed by divine grace, renewing our way of thinking in order discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12.2)” prayed Benedict XVI today at the conclusion of his reflection before praying the Angelus with the pilgrims in the Castel Gandolfo courtyard.
The pope's reflection focused on the Sunday Gospel (Matthew, 16.21 to 27), in which Jesus announces to his disciples that he must suffer, be killed and then rise again on the third day and Peter rebels against this idea.
"It is clear - said Benedict XVI - the divergence between the Father’s plan of love, which comes to His giving of His only begotten Son on the Cross to save mankind, and the expectations, desires, projects of the disciples. And this contrast is repeated today, when the realization of one's life is geared solely towards social success, physical and economic well-being, no longer reasoning according to God, but according to men (v. 23). "
"Reasoning according to the world - he added – means setting aside God, not accepting his plan of love, almost preventing him from carrying out his all-knowing will. This is why Jesus responds to Peter with particularly harsh words: "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me"(ibid.). The Lord teaches that "the disciples’ journey is to follow Him, the Crucified One. All three Gospels, however, explain this following Him in the sign of the cross... like the journey of "losing oneself", which is necessary for man and without which he can not find himself "(Jesus of Nazareth, Milan 2007, 333). "
"As he did with his disciples - he continued – Jesus also invites us:" If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me"(Matthew 16:24). The Christian follows the Lord when he accepts his cross with love, which in the eyes of the world seems a defeat, a "loss of life" (cf. vv. 25-26), knowing he does not carry it alone, but with Jesus, sharing in his journey of self-giving. The Servant of God Paul VI writes, "Mysteriously, Christ himself, to eradicate the sin of presumption from the heart of man and show the Father complete filial obedience, accepts ... to die on a cross" (eg ap . Gaudete in Domino (9 May 1975): AAS 67 , 300-301). By willingly accepting death, Jesus carries the cross of all men and becomes a source of salvation for all humanity.
"St Cyril of Jerusalem commented:" The victorious cross has enlightened those who were blinded by ignorance, freed those who were a prisoner of sin, brought redemption to all mankind" (Catechesis Illuminandorum XIII,1: de Christo crucifixo et sepulto: PG 33, 772 B).
We entrust our prayer to the Virgin Mary and St. Augustine, whom we commemorate today, so that each of us may know how to follow the Lord on the path of the Cross and allow ourselves be transformed by divine grace, renewing our way of thinking in order discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect"(Rom 12.2)."
After the Marian prayer, the Pope gave a lengthy greeting to pilgrims in different languages: there were many young people, returning from the recently held World Youth Day in Madrid, particularly from Latin America and Europe, who often interrupted the pontiff shouting "Benedetto, Benedetto!" and "This is the youth of the Pope! ", the chants that became famous at the Madrid Vigil, where because of heavy rain, the Vigil was interrupted for 20 minutes, but filled with the enthusiasm of the 2 million young people present .
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