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"The Signs of the Times"

The feel-good approach of secular society and even some elements of the Church is not able to address the emotional and spiritual needs of those who suffer or are afflicted in life. It is not an accident of history that the center of our Christian life is the cross of Jesus Christ. It is not irrelevant that Jesus walked the path of suffering and calls us to take up our cross and follow him. The cross is our sign of victory, but at the same time, it enlightens us when bad things happen to us in our earthly pilgrimage. The cross teaches us about the beauty of redemptive suffering.

So "we proclaim Christ crucified" (1 Cor 1:23a). We should be personally conscious of our Savior as the suffering servant, who not only identifies with us in our pain but has already trod the same path, and we should impart the wisdom and power of the cross to the whole world.

Bishop Underlines "Rousing" Power of Crucifix

Video Marks 26 Years of World Youth Day Cross

ROME, APRIL 26, 2010 ( The "rousing" force of the cross has been rediscovered, said the Pontifical Council for the Laity secretary while reflecting on the 26th anniversary of the World Youth Day Cross.

Bishop Josef Clemens stated this Thursday in a Mass at the international youth center of San Lorenzo, which houses the cross gifted by John Paul II to youth on April 22, 1984.

The center, created by the Pontiff in 1983, is near St. Peter's Square and holds the cross when it is not on pilgrimage around the world.

Bishop Clemens noted in his homily that "the recent controversies over the presence of the crucifix in public buildings, in schools and hospitals, has enabled us to understand the 'rousing' capacity of the cross of Christ."

The cross "is increasingly a sign of contradiction, a question that calls for answers by the 'deacons of the Word' and, in our days, it calls for even more answers from 'deacons of Christian life,'" the prelate affirmed.

Father Eric Jacquinet, director of the San Lorenzo Center and head of the youth section of the laity council, explained that "it is important to present the message of the cross to young people who come here."

He continued, "Young people know suffering, failures, doubt, mourning: They need to find consolation, strength and hope."


"When young people come to venerate the cross with great faith, their hearts are touched," Father Jacquinet said. "For some, veneration of the cross is the most important moment of the pilgrimage to Rome."

The youth of the San Lorenzo center made a video titled "The Power of the Cross" to illustrate this "rousing" force. The video, made in collaboration with H2O News and the Emmanuel Community of Rome, was presented at the end of the Mass.

The documentary includes the testimonies of 17 young people, not only recounting the history of the youth day cross, but above all the power manifested in it and the love for humanity that led Christ to accept death.

On the video, young people tell stories about the loss of a friend, the lack of a father in a family, or the loss of an unborn child. They tell of how they have been able to find true forgiveness, reconciliation, peace and joy only in Christ and in his cross.

The video, which is currently only available for viewing in the San Lorenzo Center, is ready in Italian, English, French, Spanish, German and Polish.

It aims to be an instrument of evangelization, communicating to young people who attend the center the mystery of the cross. The video will be used to receive groups and individuals in the center, and will accompany the youth day cross in its journeying to the dioceses of the whole world.

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"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Phil 1:21)
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