'The story of salvation is a story of failure...but love wins' says Pope Francis
The "failure" of the cross reveals the "victory of God's love", Pope Francis said during his homily yesterday, where he insisted that God builds upon our weaknesses and uses them for good.
Speaking at Holy Mass in the Chapel of Santa Marta in Rome, the pontiff said the "story of love between God and his people...seems to be a story of failure." Humanity has consistently rejected God, even rejecting Jesus to the point of his crucifixion on the cross, he added, according to Vatican Radio. "The path of our redemption is a path marked by failure," Francis told those gathered.
"This story that begins with a dream of love, that seems to be a love story, but ends up looking like a story of failures, ends with the great love of God who offers Salvation through the rejection of his Son who saves us all".
It is at the cross that God turns upside down our understanding of failure. Love triumphs at the cross; a place that would otherwise appear to one of defeat. "It is a scandal...but here is where love wins."
However, he also stressed that Christians will fail many times in their own journey, which "is a rough road".
"If each of us examines his conscience, he will see how many times...he has banished the prophets; how many times he has said to Jesus: 'Go away;' how many times he has wanted to save himself. How many times we have thought we were the righteous ones," Francis said. But God uses us in our weakness, just as Christ was brutally murdered on the cross and yet rose in glory three days later. "The Son, His last envoy, was seized, killed and thrown out. He became the cornerstone."
It is important, therefore, for Christians to practise the same humility that Jesus did. "We do well to remember this love story that seems to fail, but in the end triumphs," Francis concluded.
"And to remember in story of our lives, the seed of love that God has sown in us and how it went, and doing the same thing that Jesus did on our behalf: he humbled himself."