Pope: “Being a Disciple Means Taking Up Your Cross”

Reflects on the Call to Follow Christ During Angelus Address

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Following Jesus means going on “an uncomfortable path that is not of success or of passing glory, but that which takes us to the true freedom, freedom from selfishness and from sin.”

These were the words of Pope Francis during his Angelus address today to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope began by reflecting on the Gospel of St. Mark, which begins with Peter’s Profession of Faith. Jesus, he said, was struck by Peter’s faith, recognizing it as “the fruit of a special grace of God the Father.”

However, the Pope noted that after hearing that Jesus was to suffer and die, Peter “is scandalized by these words.”

“And how does Jesus react?” the Pope asked. “He in turn reproaches Peter, with very severe words: “Get behind me, Satan!” He calls him Satan! “You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do”. Jesus sees that in Peter, as in the other disciples – and in each one of us! – the temptation by the Evil One opposes the grace of the Father, that it wants to deter us from the will of God.”

The 78 year old Pontiff said that in announcing His death, Christ wished to show that in order to become his disciple, one must be willing to serve, and ultimately sacrifice their own life.

“To undertake the discipleship of Jesus means to take your cross – we all have it – to accompany Him on His path, an uncomfortable path that is not of success or of passing glory, but that which takes us to the true freedom, freedom from selfishness and from sin,” he said.

“It is to operate a clear rejection of that worldly mentality that places one’s ‘I’ and own interests at the center of existence. That is not what Jesus wants from us. Instead Jesus invites us to lose our life for Him and the Gospel, to receive it renewed, realized and authentic. We are sure, thanks to Jesus, that this path brings us to the Resurrection, to the full and definitive life with God.”

Reminding the faithful to read a daily passage from the Gospels, the Pope said that deciding to follow Christ requires listening to the Word of God and the grace of the Sacraments.

Concluding his address, Pope Francis took a moment to address the young men and women in the square, asking them to reflect on God’s call.
“There are young people here in the square, young men and women. I only want to ask you: have you felt the desire to follow Jesus more closely? Think about it, pray and allow the Lord to speak to you,” he said.

— — —

On ZENIT’s website:

For the full text of the Pope’s Angelus Address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-on-following-christ

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation