Pope Francis – World Youth Day 2016 – Way of the Cross Homily:
The Lord once more asks you to be in the forefront of serving others. He wants to make of you a concrete response to the needs and sufferings of humanity. He wants you to be signs of his merciful love for our time! To enable you to carry out this mission, he shows you the way of personal commitment and self-sacrifice. It is the Way of the Cross. The Way of the Cross is the way of fidelity in following Jesus to the end, in the often dramatic situations of everyday life. It is a way that fears no lack of success, ostracism or solitude, because it fills ours hearts with the fullness of Jesus. The Way of the Cross is the way of God’s own life, his “style”, which Jesus brings even to the pathways of a society at times divided, unjust and corrupt.
The Way of the Cross is not an exercise in sadomasochism; the Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life. It is the way of hope, the way of the future. Those who take up this way with generosity and faith give hope to the future and to humanity. Those who take up this way with generosity and faith sow seeds of hope. I want you to be sowers of hope.
Dear young people, on that Good Friday many disciples went back crestfallen to their homes. Others chose to go out to the country to forget the cross. I ask you: but I want each of you to answer in silence in the depths of your heart. How do you want to go back this evening to your own homes, to the places where you are staying, to your tents? How do you want to go back this evening to be alone with your thoughts? The world is watching us. Each of you has to answer the challenge that this question sets before you.