We all need answers to the existential questions of life, and Jesus, because he knows the human heart, is the only one who has them, says Pope Francis.
The Pope affirmed this today in his reflection before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The Holy Father reflected on Jesus’ question to the Apostles, recounted in today’s Gospel: “Who do you say that I am?”
With Peter’s answer — “You are the Christ of God” — “Jesus realizes that the Twelve, and particularly Peter, have received from the Father the gift of faith, and because of this He begins to speak to them openly about what awaited Him in Jerusalem,” Francis noted.
He continued, “These same questions are asked anew to each one of us. ‘Who is Jesus for the people of our times? Who is Jesus for each one of us?’
“We are called to make Peter’s answer our own answer, joyfully professing that Jesus is the Son of God, the eternal Word of the Father become man to redeem humanity, pouring out over mankind the abundance of divine mercy.”
The Pope noted that the world needs Christ more than ever — “needs His salvation, His merciful love.”
People see emptiness and feel restlessness, the Pope observed. “All of us need adequate responses to our existential questions.”
And, he affirmed, “In Christ, and only in Him, is it possible to find true peace and the fulfillment of every human aspiration. Jesus knows the heart of man as no one else does. That’s why He can heal it, giving it life and consolation.”
After his dialogue with the Apostles, Jesus goes on to invite us all to take up our crosses and follow him.
This isn’t a “a decorative or ideological cross,” the Pope said, “but the cross of one’s duty, of sacrificing oneself for others with love, of willingness to be in solidarity with the poor, of exerting oneself for justice and peace.”
However in taking up these attitudes, Francis added, “we must never forget that ‘whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.’”
“Therefore, let us abandon ourselves with confidence in Him, Jesus our brother, friend and savior,” the Pope invited. “Through the Holy Spirit, He will give us the strength to go forward on the path of faith and witness. And on this path, Our Lady is always close: Let us allow Her to take us by the hand when we go through moments of darkness and difficulty.”