“We must not be afraid to contemplate the cross as a moment of defeat, of failure,” Pope Francis said September 14, 2018, during his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
“When Paul reflects on the mystery of Jesus Christ, he says some powerful things,” the Pope continued. “He tells us that Jesus emptied himself, annihilated himself, was made sin to the end and took all our sins upon himself, all the sins of the world: he was a ‘rag’, a condemned man. Paul was not afraid to show this defeat and even this can enlighten our moments of darkness, our moments of defeat. But the cross is also a sign of victory for us Christians”.
The Holy Father explained that when Christians contemplate the cross they see both defeat and victory. Satan appeared to have swallowed Jesus, but it was Satan who lost his power.
“The cross teaches us that in life there is failure and victory. We must be capable of tolerating defeat, of bearing our failures patiently, even those of our sins because He paid for us,” Francis stressed. “We must tolerate them in Him, asking forgiveness in Him, but never allowing ourselves to be seduced by this chained dog. It will be good if today, when we go home, we would take 5, 10, 15 minutes in front of the crucifix, either the one we have in our house or on the rosary: look at it, it is our sign of defeat, it provokes persecutions, it destroys us; it is also our sign of victory because it is where God was victorious”.