“We’ve heard the name Judas. 30 pieces of silver! Am I like Judas? …who pretended to love and kissed his teacher in order to betray him…Am I a traitor?
“We’ve heard other names…the disciples who didn’t understand anything, and they slept while the Lord suffered. Is my life in slumber?
“Am I like the people who treated Him like a criminal and gave false witness against Him?
“Am I like Pilate? who, when there is a difficult decision to make, washes his hands and doesn’t take responsibility for his actions? Am I a person who condemns others?
“Am I like that crowd who chose Barabbas and gave glory to him because it was more fun to humiliate Jesus?
“Am I like the Soldiers who beat Jesus? who spat on him and took delight in making the Lord suffer?
“Am I like the Cirene who, coming home from a hard day’s work, had the good will to help the Lord carry the Cross?
“Am I like those people who said: if Jesus was truly great He would get down from the Cross and then we would believe in Him?
“Or am I like those courageous people, like the mother of Jesus and the other women who suffered and supported Him in silence?
“Am I like Joseph the hidden disciple who out of love carried the body of Jesus to the tomb?
“Am I like these two Marys who remained at the door of the tomb crying and praying?
“Am I like those authorities who were in front of Pilate saying that Jesus said he would resurrect, so considering this another trick, they asked to guard the tomb…Am I like those who block the tomb? Am I like those who block life to defend a doctrine? Am I like those authorities who don’t want life to come out?"
Some moments of silent reflection, then the piazza stands together for the Creed and the Prayers of the Faithful.
The liturgy of the Eucharist begins.
Sixty thousand faithful from all over the world receive Christ in the Eucharist on St Peter’s Square: truly the beating heart of the Church.
At the end of mass, the young people from Brazil hand over the World Youth Day cross to the youth of Poland (where the next WYD will be held in 2016).
A truly touching and symbolic moment as the great wooden cross is passed hand in hand from youth to youth, on Palm Sunday, the very moment that Pope John Paul II instituted this day for the youth of the world.
One of our Brazilian colleagues, Clarissa Oliveira was fortunate enough to be one of the young people bearing the Cross.
“To carry the WYD cross for me is to be near to Christ” she recounts afterwards. “To take His Cross together with Jesus, along with the Brazilian youth, and hand it over to the Polish youth, is being united with all the youth of the World in Jesus, and to go forward in preparing for another WYD experience in 2016; so to continue the journey of ‘mission’ that Pope Francis also asks of us."
She continues, remembering the experience: "First to be with Jesus in the Cross, then to be with Jesus in the person of the Pope, what is now in my heart is the desire to go forward with this gaze of Jesus who loves us until the end of time, and to bring this to others who don’t know this love."