Pope Francis on Good Friday

“In the liturgy of Good Friday we shall meditate on the mystery of Christ’s death and adore the Cross. In the final moments of his life, before giving up his spirit to the Father, Jesus said: “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). What do these words mean, when Jesus says: “It is finished”? It means that the work of salvation is finished, that all of the Scriptures have found their total fulfillment in the love of Christ, the immolated Lamb. Jesus, by his Sacrifice, has transformed the greatest iniquity into the greatest love.

Over the course of the centuries there have been men and women who by the witness of their lives reflected a ray of this perfect love, full and undefiled. I would like to recall a heroic witness of our times, Don Andrea Santoro, a priest of the Diocese of Rome and a missionary in Turkey. A few days before being assassinated in Trebisonda, he wrote: “I live among these people so that Jesus can live among them through me… only by offering one’s flesh is salvation possible. The evil that stalks the world must be borne and pain must be shared till the end in one’s own flesh as Jesus did.” May the example of a man of our times, and so many others, sustain us in the offering of our own life as a gift of love to our brothers and sisters, in the imitation of Jesus.”

General Audience, Wednesday 1 April 2015

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