Last month I was in Rome. We were finishing off our holiday with four nights there. We visited some churches and restaurants and just enjoyed the Roman sunshine. But one thing we couldn’t do was visit Pope Francis. Unfortunately, he was in Rio de Janeiro at World Youth Day. It was unfortunate for us, but not for the estimated three million people who gathered with him on Copacabana Beach to worship God.
Francis seems to be a remarkable man. His simplicity and direct way of speaking seems to touch the hearts of so many – Christian and non-Christian alike. Yet he is not afraid of challenging and teaching.
He said to the young people in Brazil:
The Cross of Christ contains all the love of God, his immeasurable mercy. This is a love in which we can place all our trust, in which we can believe. … Only in Christ crucified and risen can we find salvation and redemption. With him, evil, suffering, and death do not have the last word, because he gives us hope and life: he has transformed the Cross from an instrument of hate, defeat and death into a sign of love, victory and life.
By Canon John S Aveyard, Our Lady and St Paulinus Catholic Church Representing Churches Together in Dewsbury. To contact CTiD please ring 01924 454750 or 457057.