Here is the translation of the Pope’s remarks after the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross), which took place at the ancient Colosseum of Rome on Good Friday.
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God put on the cross of Jesus all the weight of our sins, all the injustices perpetrated by every Cain against his brother, all the bitterness and betrayal of Judas and Peter, all the vanity of the domineering, all the arrogance of false friends. It was a heavy cross, like the night of those who have been abandoned, heavy like the death of loved ones, heavy because it takes on all the ugliness of evil. Nevertheless, it is also a glorious cross like the dawn after a long night because in everything it symbolizes God’s love, which is greater than our iniquity and our treachery. In the cross we see man’s monstrousness when he is guided by evil; but we also see the immensity of God’s mercy, which does not deal with us according to our sins but according to his mercy.
Before the cross of Jesus we can almost touch how much we are eternally loved. Before the cross we feel are “children” and not “things” or “objects,” as St. Gregory the Great said, addressing Christ with this prayer: “If you did not exist, my Christ, I would feel like a finite creature. I am born and I feel myself dissolving. I eat, sleep, rest and walk, I get sick and I heal. Countless desires and torments assault me, I enjoy the sun and the earth’s fruitfulness. Then I die and my flesh becomes dust like the flesh of the animals, who have not sinned. But I, what do I have that they do not? Nothing, if not God. If you did not exist, my Christ, I would feel like a finite creature. O, our Jesus, lead us from the cross to the resurrection and teach us that evil does not have the last word. Love, mercy and forgiveness do. O Christ, help us to exclaim once again: “Yesterday I was crucified with Christ; today I am glorified with him. Yesterday I died with him; today I am alive with him. Yesterday I was put in the tomb with him: today I am raised up with him.
Finally, let us all recall together the sick, let us remember all the people who are alone beneath the cross that they might find in the trial of the cross the power of hope, of hope in the resurrection and in the love of God.[Translation by Joseph Trabbic]