14 Sep It’s Hard to Believe in Love
by Pope Francis
Did Jesus have to die on the Cross? This is a question that avoids the simple fact: Jesus did die on the Cross for my sake, for our sake. The Cross is foolishness and is for really bad people and for slaves. Jesus took all of that on himself for my sake, for our sake.
What was a symbol of deep shame becomes a symbol of eternal love, of boundless love—for my sake, for our sake.
It is not easy for any of us to accept that another person loves us completely, even in marriage or in a religious community. It is not easy to believe in love, especially when we see desires all around us which are not love.
It is not easy to want to give our lives in love, even when we may have fallen in love. Love is such a compelling commitment to another person—and it requires everything we have and all that we are.
Part of the symbol in the celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is the lifting up of the serpent by Moses for the healing of the people.
The people are healed by that which they were trying to kill. The serpent is lifted up on a pole and by looking at it, the people were saved. For us who come after Christ, it is easier to see this symbol.
We are healed of our sins by looking at the one we have caused to die, the one we have killed, the one who gave himself in love for us.
Truly the mystery of God’s love for us is beyond understanding, even when we accept it. Why would God want to love such rebellious people? Why would God want to love me when I so often pay no attention to Him? This is the mystery of love. It is a mystery of suffering love, a love willing to die for me.
Let us spend some time today with the Cross, giving thanks, meditating, letting our hearts be touched by the Lord. Through his Cross we are saved.
Excerpted from a homily by Pope Francis on Sept. 14, 2013