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Pope Francis: Consistory, “Jesus asks you to follow Him”. “He does not call you to become princes of the Church but to serve”

During His public life, Jesus “made known the Father’s tender love by healing all who were oppressed by the evil one (cf. Acts 10:38)”. Now, as He walks towards Jerusalem, “He realizes that the moment has come to press on to the very end, to eliminate evil at its root. And so, He walks resolutely towards the cross”. Pope Francis said this in the allocution he delivered at the Consistory for the creation of five new cardinals in St Peter’s Basilica, commenting on a reading from the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus announces His death and resurrection for the third time. “We too, brothers and sisters, are journeying with Jesus along this path”, the Pontiff remarked. “I speak above all to you, dear new Cardinals. Jesus ‘is walking ahead of you’, and He asks you to follow Him resolutely on His way. He calls you to look at reality, not to let yourselves be distracted by other interests or prospects. He has not called you to become ‘princes’ of the Church, to ‘sit at His right or at His left’. He calls you to serve like Him and with Him. To serve the Father and your brothers and sisters. He calls you to face as He did the sin of the world and its effects on today’s humanity”. “Follow Him – Pope Francis continued -, and walk ahead of the holy people of God, with your gaze fixed on the Lord’s cross and resurrection”. Hence an invocation to the Holy Spirit, through the intercession of the Virgin Mother, that He may “bridge every gap between our hearts and the heart of Christ, so that our lives may be completely at the service of God and all our brothers and sisters”.

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