ROME – Christians ought to express shame for the actions of those who are leaving future generations a world “fractured by divisions and wars,” Pope Francis said in his prayer during the Good Friday Via Crucis at the Colosseum in Rome.
The pope invoked Jesus of Nazareth, saying “our gaze upon you is full of shame, repentance and hope.”
“Before your supreme love, shame pervades us for having left you alone to suffer for our sins ... shame for having chosen Barabbas and not you, power and not you, appearance and not you, the god of money and not you, worldliness and not eternity,” Francis said.
Christians feel shame for all the people, including some clergy, who “allowed themselves to be deceived by ambition and vainglory, losing sight of their dignity and first love,” and those who have left future generations a world “fractured by divisions and wars” and “consumed by selfishness,” the pope said.
Francis also spoke of the repentance that “springs from the certainty that only you (Christ) can save us from evil, only you can heal us from our leprosy of hate, selfishness, pride, greed, revenge and idolatry.”
However, after expressing shame and repentance, the pope spoke of “the hope” that the Christian message “continues to instill, even now, in many persons and peoples, and that only good can defeat evil, only forgiveness can overcome resentment.”
Francis also said that, moved by their faith, “many missionaries continue, even today, to challenge the numb conscience of humanity, risking their lives to serve the poor, the discarded, immigrants, the invisible, the abused, the hungry and the imprisoned.”
Before the pope began his prayer, the procession included the reading of several meditations, which were written this year by a group of Italian high school students.