Francis noted "the way of Jesus" continues in a society that consumes and is consumed, ignores and ignores itself in the pain of its fellow human beings” and “in the hidden and outraged pain of those who, instead of solidarity, find rejection, pain and misery in a society replete with abundance, and who are moreover marked and treated as bearers and guilty for every social evil."
Panama City (AsiaNews) – In his message yesterday afternoon (10.30 GMT) to 400,000 young people, Pope Francis noted emphatically that the Way of the Cross continues nowadays and can be seen "in the many faces that suffer as a result of the satisfied and anaesthetising indifference of our society that consumes and is consumed, ignores and ignores itself in the pain of its brothers", be they migrants forced to leave their land, the many "discarded", the elderly, children deprived of their childhood or the right to be born.
And "we, your friends, too, O Lord, have let ourselves to be seized by apathy and immobility. Conformism has often defeated and paralysed us. It is hard to recognise you in the fellow human being who suffers: we have turned our gaze away, so as not to see; we took refuge in noise, so as not to hear; we closed our mouths, so as not to shout. Always the same temptation. It's easier and it 'pays more' to be friends in victory and glory, success and applause; it is easier to stay close to those who are considered popular and winners. How easy it is to fall into the culture of bullying, harassment and intimidation!"
"For you it is not so, Lord. In the cross you relate to all the suffering, to all those who feel forgotten" and "today the Way of the Cross of your Son continues: in the stifled cry of children who are prevented from being born and of many others who are denied the right to have a childhood, a family, an education; who cannot play, sing, dream [. . .] ; in the abused, exploited and abandoned women, stripped and ignored in their dignity; in the sad eyes of the young people who see their hope for a future snatched away for lack of an education and dignified work; in the anguish of young faces, our friends, who fall into the networks of unscrupulous people – among them are also people who claim to serve you, Lord –, networks of exploitation, crime and abuse, which feed on the lives of young people."
"Your Son’s Way of the Cross continues in many young people and families who, absorbed in a spiral of death as a result of drugs, alcohol, prostitution and trafficking, find themselves deprived not only of a future but also of the present. As they distributed your garments, Lord, so is their dignity divided and mistreated."
It continues "in young people who with frowning faces lost the ability to dream, to create and invent tomorrow and 'retire' [instead] with the penalty of resignation and conformity, one of the most used drugs in our time."
It continues “in the hidden and outraged pain of those who, instead of solidarity, find rejection, pain and misery in a society replete with abundance, and who are moreover marked and treated as bearers and guilty for every social evil.
“It continues in the resigned solitude of the old abandoned and discarded."
"It continues in the first peoples, stripped of their lands, roots and culture, all the wisdom they can offer silenced and extinguished" and "in the cry of our mother earth, who is wounded in its bowels by pollution".
"It continues in a society that has lost the ability to cry and be moved in the face of pain".
"And we, Lord, what shall we do? Do we console and accompany the Lord, helpless and suffering, in the littlest and most abandoned? Do we remain at the foot of the cross like Mary?"
"Let us gaze at Mary, a strong woman. From her we want to learn how to remain standing beneath the cross. With her determination and courage, without evasion or illusion, she was able to accompany her Son’s pain, your Son, Father, supporting him with a gaze and shelter him with the heart. Pain she suffered, but it did not break her. She was the woman of the strong 'yes' who supports and accompanies, shelters and embraces. She is the great keeper of hope."
Like Mary "we too want to be a Church that supports and accompanies, who knows how to say: I am here! In the life and the crosses of the many Christs who walk beside us."
From Mary we learn to say "yes" to the strong and constant resistance of so many mothers, fathers, grandparents, who never cease to support and accompany their children and grandchildren when they are "in trouble".
"From Mary we learn the strength to say ‘yes’ to those who have not kept silent and are not silent in the face of a culture of mistreatment and abuse, of discredit and aggression, who work to offer opportunities and conditions of security and protection."
Above all, we can learn from Mary "to welcome and host all those who have suffered abandonment, who have had to leave or lose their land, roots, family and work.”
"Like Mary we want to be the Church that fosters a culture that knows how to welcome, protect, promote and integrate, that does not stigmatise and even less generalise in the most absurd and irresponsible condemnation by identifying all migrants as bearers of social ills."
Finally, from her, "we want to learn to stand beneath the cross, not with an armoured and closed heart, but with a heart that can accompany, that knows tenderness and devotion, that is an expert in piety, treating [others] with respect, sensitivity and understanding."