Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk. 8:27-35) during his September 13 Sunday Angelus address and challenged the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square to follow Christ rather than their own egos.
“To undertake the discipleship of Jesus means to take up your cross– we all have it– to accompany him on his path, an uncomfortable path that is not of success or of passing glory, but that which takes us to the true freedom, freedom from selfishness and from sin,” the Pope said, as he called for a “clear rejection of that worldly mentality that places one’s ‘I’ and own interests at the center of existence.”
“That is not what Jesus wants from us,” the Pope continued. “Instead, Jesus invites us to lose our life for him and the Gospel, to receive it renewed, realized and authentic.”
To cultivate union with Christ, Pope Francis called for “attentive and assiduous listening of his Word– remember to read everyday a passage from the Gospel– and the grace of the sacraments.”
There are young people here in the square, young men and women. I only want to ask you: have you felt the desire to follow Jesus more closely? Think about it, pray and allow the Lord to speak to you.