“Let us approach the Crucified One,” Pope Francis invited the faithful this April 5, at the end of the general audience. “Let us place ourselves before Him, stripped naked, to be in the truth of ourselves, removing anything superfluous.”
The Pope’s appeal-prayer was made to the French-speaking pilgrims. He added an exhortation to allow Jesus to “regenerate hope in us.”
In Jesus’ wounds, we can see our own; in his obedience to the Father’s will and his forgiveness of those who crucified him, he shows the victory of God’s love and offers us the hope of interior renewal and redemption. In these coming days, let us draw near to the Lord and place our hope in the power of his cross to turn evil into good, and suffering into a generous love of our brothers and sisters, especially those in greatest need.
The Holy Father made a similar suggestion to Spanish-speakers, inviting the faithful to “draw close” to the Crucified Jesus. “Contemplating Him, wounded and stripped of everything, let us recognize our own truth.”
Let us present to Him all that we are, and allow Him to renew in us the hope of a new life.
The Pope encouraged Polish-speaking faithful to look to the “Tree of the Cross, so that hope may sprout in you.”
May the Crucified Lord heal you of your sadness and bitterness. For as St. Peter reminds us, by Christ’s wounds we have been healed.
But, may we not only see the suffering Christ on the Cross, the Pope invited, in greeting Arabic-speaking faithful. “Let us carry in our minds and hearts the sufferings of the sick, the poor and the marginalized, remembering also the innocent victims of wars, so that Christ, by His Resurrection, may grant peace, consolation, and blessings to all,” he said.