(Vatican Radio) In his Angelus address on Sunday from his studio above St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading from Mark in which Jesus asks the disciples “Who do people say I am?”
The Pope recalled how they responded, saying that some people thought he was John the Baptist restored to life, others Elijah or one of the great prophets, but couldn’t quite believe he was the Messiah.
The Holy Father noted how Jesus then asks a very important question “But who do you say that I am?” in order to test their faith.
Jesus, said Pope Francis is impressed by the faith of Peter who says “you are the Christ”.
But Jesus also rebukes Peter for thinking the way men think and not as God thinks when he tells the disciples “the Son of Man must suffer many things … and be killed, and after three days rise again”.
For Peter, explained the Pope, these words are scandalous. The Holy Father also explained that in announcing that he must suffer and be put to death and then resurrected, Jesus wants to make it clear to those who follow him that as the Messiah he is a humble servant. What Jesus is also saying, said Pope Francis is that “anyone who wants to be his disciple must accept being a servant.”
Following Jesus, continued the Pope, means taking up one’s own cross to accompany him on his journey, a path that ultimately leads to true freedom, freedom from selfishness and sin. The Holy Father also underlined that accompanying the Lord means rejecting the worldly mentality that puts the “self” at the centre of existence, instead following what is renewed and authentic.
Then speaking to the young people present in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis asked, “Have you felt the need to become closer to Jesus?” “Reflect and pray,” the Pope advised, and let the Lord speak to you.
Following the recitation of the Marian prayer, the Holy Father remembered a new Blessed being proclaimed in South Africa. Samuel Benedict Daswa was a family man killed in 1990 because of his fidelity to the Gospel.
Pope Francis said that in his life Daswa always showed “great consistency, courageously taking on Christian attitudes and refusing worldly and pagan habits. His testimony, the Pope added, helps especially families to spread the truth and charity of Christ.”
(from Vatican Radio)…