“This is needed: to go back to the heart, to the essentials, to a simple life, stripped of many useless things, which are substitutes for hope. Today, when everything is complex and we risk losing the plot, we need simplicity, to rediscover the value of sobriety, the value of renunciation, to clean up what pollutes the heart and makes us sad,” he said.
Speaking in St. Peter’s Square on a chilly spring morning, Pope Francis also highlighted how Jesus did not cover up or hide his wounds when he was nailed to the cross.
“Brothers and sisters, we too are wounded — who isn’t in life? And many times, with hidden wounds that we hide out of shame. Who does not bear the scars of past choices, of misunderstandings, of sorrows that remain inside and are difficult to overcome? But also of wrongs suffered, sharp words, unmerciful judgments?”
“God does not hide his wounds, that pierced his body and soul, from our eyes. He shows them so we can see that a new passage can be opened with Easter: to make of our own wounds, holes of light.”
By offering forgiveness and love from the cross, Jesus “converts evil into good” and “sorrow into love,” he said.
“So today, let us look at the tree of the cross so that hope might germinate in us, that we might be healed of sadness … It takes a little hope to be healed of the sadness we are sick with, to be healed of the bitterness with which we pollute the Church and the world,” he said.
Pope Francis offered a reflection on how to have a fruitful Holy Week at his general audience on April 5, 2023. Vatican Media
“Brothers and sisters, let us look at the crucifix … our hope is there.”
Pope Francis offered the Holy Week reflection in his first general audience after being released from Gemelli Hospital, where he was being treated for bronchitis.
At the end of the Wednesday audience, Pope Francis appealed for peace in Ukraine and asked people to pray for victims of war during Holy Week.