The recent “March for Our Lives” marked a crucial moment for our nation’s young people. Several national and local media outlets, in connection with the march, have referenced Pope Francis’ homily from Palm Sunday. The pope encouraged young people to “cry out.” He had just met with hundreds of young people earlier that week and listened to their concerns about the Church and the world. In his homily, the pope also noted the voices of negativity that are reminiscent of those who maligned Jesus Christ with cries of, “Crucify him!”
“Faced with such people,” Francis went on to say, “the best remedy is to look at Christ’s cross and let ourselves be challenged by his final cry. He died crying out his love for each of us: young and old, saints and sinners, the people of his times and of our own.” That message of the cross, not surprisingly, was missed completely by the media.
What does the cross of Jesus Christ mean for our young people today? Do they know Christ personally and have they made a decision to follow Him? Have the parents, teachers and mentors in their lives made the extraordinary message of Christ’s forgiveness known to them? As Pope Francis stated on Palm Sunday, “Looking at the cross means allowing our priorities, choices and actions to be challenged.” Any hope for a resurrected culture rests in an authentic understanding of Christ crucified. There can be no Easter Sunday without embracing the awesome reality of Good Friday.