Lord Jesus, our gaze is turned to you, full of shame, repentance and hope. Working translation of Pope Francis’ reflection at the end of the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome by Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB from the original text in Italian Lord Jesus, our gaze is turned to you, full of shame, repentance and hope. In the face of your supreme love, shame pervades us for leaving you alone to suffer for our sins: -the shame to have escaped before the test even though you have said thousands of times: "even if everyone leaves you, I will never leave you"; -the shame of having chosen Barabbas and not you, the power and not you, the appearance and not you, the god of money and not you, the mundanity and not the eternity; -the shame for having tempted you with your mouth and heart, every time we have been in front of a trial, telling you: "if you are the messiah, save yourself and we will believe!"; -shame because so many people, and even some of your ministers, let themselves be deceived by ambition and vain glory, losing their worthiness and their first love; -shame because our generations are leaving young people a world fractured by divisions and wars; a world devoured by selfishness where the young, the small, the sick, the elderly are marginalized; -the shame of having lost the shame; -Lord Jesus, always give us the grace of holy shame! Our gaze is also full of a repentance that pleads your mercy before your eloquent silence: repentance that sprouts from the certainty that only you can save us from evil, only you can heal us from our leprosy of hatred, selfishness, pride, greed, revenge, greed, idolatry, only you can embrace us by giving back the filial dignity and rejoice for our return home, to life; -the repentance that springs from feeling our smallness, our nothingness, our vanity and that lets itself be caressed by your sweet and powerful invitation to conversion; -the repentance of David who finds his only strength in you from the abyss of his misery; -the repentance born of our shame, born of the certainty that our heart will always remain restless until you find yourself and in you its only source of fullness and quietness; -the repentance of Peter who, when he met your eyes, wept bitterly for having denied you before men. Lord Jesus, always give us the grace of holy repentance! In front of your supreme majesty, the spark of hope lights up in the darkness of our despair because we know that your only measure of love is to love us without measure; -the hope that your message continues to inspire, even today, so many people and peoples that only good can defeat evil and wickedness, only forgiveness can bring down resentment and revenge, only the fraternal embrace can disperse the hostility and fear of the other; -hope because your sacrifice continues, still today, to emanate the scent of divine love that caresses the hearts of so many young people who continue to consecrate their lives becoming living examples of charity and gratuity in our world devoured by the logic of profit and easy money; -the hope that so many missionaries continue, even today, to challenge the sleeping consciousness of humanity, risking their lives to serve you in the poor, in the rejected, in the immigrants, in the unseen, in the exploited, in the hungry and in prisoners; -the hope that your Church, holy and made up of sinners, continues, even today, despite all the attempts to discredit it, to be a light that enlightens, encourages, lifts and bears witness to your unlimited love for humanity, a model of altruism, an ark of salvation and a source of certainty and truth; -the hope because from your cross, fruit of the greed and cowardice of so many doctors of the Law and hypocrites, the Resurrection has burst forth, turning the darkness of the tomb into the splendor of the dawn of Sunday without sunset, teaching us that your love is our hope. Lord Jesus, always give us the grace of holy hope! Help us, Son of man, to strip away the arrogance of the thief on your left and that of the short-sighted and the corrupt who have seen in you an opportunity to exploit; a condemned man to criticize, a loser to be mocked, and another opportunity to hurl guilt onto others, even onto God. Instead, help us, Son of man, to identify ourselves with the good thief who looked at you with eyes of shame, of repentance and hope, who, with the eyes of faith, saw in your apparent defeat the divine victory and so knelt before your mercy and with honesty has robbed paradise! Amen!