Spearheading the opening of the holiest period on the Christian calendar, Pope Francis on Palm Sunday spoke about the battle between God and the “prince of this world.”
The Pope said those who follow Jesus are called to fight temptation and evil with silence and humility, not by being “superstars.”
He said that just as Jesus was welcomed joyfully into Jerusalem, the devil had a “card up his sleeve: the card of triumphalism.”
“Yet the Lord responded by holding fast to his own way, the way of humility,” Francis said, before telling thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square that they, too, are called to do the same.
Triumphalism, Francis said during his Palm Sunday homily, lives off gestures and words “that are not forged in the crucible of the cross,” growing off looks askance at others and by judging others as “inferior, wanting, failures.”
“One subtle form of triumphalism is spiritual worldliness, which represents the greatest danger, the most treacherous temptation threatening the Church,” Francis said, quoting the late French theologian Father Henri de Lubac: “Jesus destroyed triumphalism by his Passion.”
“There is no negotiating with the cross: one either embraces it or rejects it,” Francis said. “By his self-abasement, Jesus wanted to open up to us the path of faith and to precede us on that path.”