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Pope's Audience: Jesus died humiliated, but God's victory shines

2014-04-16

During his catechesis on Wednesday's General Audience, Pope Francis talked about the beginning of the Passion of Christ

He said Jesus suffered humiliation and betrayal, and yet he was loyal to God's plan for Salvation. Likewise, he asked Catholics that in time of humiliation and betrayal, they follow Christ's footsteps and open their hearts to "reconciliation, redemption and new life..”

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

The Gospel of this Wednesday of Holy Week presents the betrayal of Judas, which marks the beginning of Christ’s Passion.  Out of love for us, Jesus freely walked the path of humiliation and self-abandonment for our salvation.  

As Saint Paul says, "he emptied himself… and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil  2:7-8).  As we contemplate Jesus in his passion, we see reflected the sufferings of all humanity and we discover God’s answer to the mystery of evil, suffering and death.  

He gives us his Son, who dies humiliated, betrayed, abandoned and reviled. Yet God’s victory shines forth in what appears, in human terms, to be failure and defeat.  Jesus’ passion is the culmination of his revelation of the Father’s infinite love and his summons to faith in his word.  Christ takes upon himself the power of evil in order to set us free: "by his wounds we have been healed” (cf. 1 Pet 2:24).  

This week, as we follow Jesus along the way of the cross, may we imitate his loving obedience to the will of the Father, especially in times of difficulty and humiliation, and open our hearts to his gifts of reconciliation, redemption and new life.

I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Australia, Canada and the United States.  My particular greeting goes to the delegation from the NATO Defense College and to the many young people present.  

Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke the gifts of the Spirit for a fruitful celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.  God bless you all!


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