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"The Signs of the Times"

The authentic gospel is the gospel of the cross. If we are to come after Jesus, we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. Jesus has already shown us the way. When we follow him, we inevitably encounter the cross. Rather than evade it, we are called to embrace it, as Jesus did.

The Cross Is the Crown of Our Hope, Says Pope

Encourages Growth in Faith Through Daily Trials

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 20, 2010 ( Benedict XVI is pointing to the Cross as the crown of our hope and the highest of our goods.

The Pope stated this today in a public address before praying the midday Angelus with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

In the Gospel, the Pontiff recalled, Jesus "renews to Peter and the other disciples the invitation to follow him on the demanding road of love to the cross."

"To us too, who can know the Lord through faith in his Word and in the sacraments, Jesus makes the proposal to follow him every day," he said.

As well, the Holy Father affirmed, Jesus "reminds us that to be his disciples it is necessary to appropriate the power of the cross, the highest of our goods and the crown of our hope."

He continued, "Taking up the cross means committing oneself to defeating sin, which blocks the way to God, accepting the Lord's will every day, making faith grow above all in the face of problems, difficulties, suffering."

"Even today," Benedict XVI noted, "there are many Christians in the world who, animated by God, assume the cross every day, whether it be daily trials, whether it be that procured by human barbarity, which sometimes requires the courage of the supreme sacrifice."

He expressed the prayer that the Lord would "grant everyone of us always to place our firm hope in him, certain that, following him carrying our cross, we will reach the light of the Resurrection with him."

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