Francis calls the faithful to intercede as bridges - like Jesus, Moses, and the saints - for the wicked, worst sinners and corrupt leaders.
Pope Francis took up the prayer of Moses in his reflection at the general audience on June 17, noting how Moses prefigured Christ in his role as intercessor, and how all the saints, in imitation of Jesus, are called to this “intercessory attitude.”
Even when the people had sinned and created the golden calf as an idol, Moses interceded for them, as “the bridge.” Between the people and God, “he is in the middle,” the pope said. “He is an intercessor: for his people, for his flesh and blood, for his history, for his people and for the God who called him. He is the bridge.”
Francis noted that the word pontifex means bridge, and that this is the vocation for priests.
Explaining Moses’ prayer to God, he said: “Pastors are the bridges between the people, to whom they belong, and God, to whom they belong by vocation. This is what Moses is. ‘If you would only forgive their sin! But if you will not, then blot me out of the book that you have written. I do not want to get ahead at the expense of my people.'”
And this is the prayer that true believers cultivate in their spiritual life. Even if they experience the shortcomings of people and their distance from God, in prayer they do not condemn them, they do not reject them. The intercessory attitude is proper to the saints who, in imitation of Jesus, are “bridges” between God and His people. Moses, in this sense, was the first great prophet of Jesus, our advocate and intercessor (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2577). And today, too, Jesus is the pontifex, He is the bridge between us and the Father. And Jesus intercedes for us, He shows the Father the wounds that are the price of our salvation, and He intercedes. And Moses is the figure of Jesus who today prays for us, intercedes for us. Moses urges us to pray with the same ardour as Jesus, to intercede for the world, to remember that despite all its frailties, it still belongs to God. Everyone belongs to God. The worst sinners, the wickedest people, the most corrupt leaders, they are children of God, and Jesus feels this and intercedes for everyone. And the world lives and thrives thanks to the blessing of the righteous, to the prayer for mercy, this prayer for mercy that the saint, the righteous, the intercessor, the priest, the bishop, the Pope, the layperson, any baptised person incessantly raises up for humanity, in every place and time in history. Let us think of Moses, the intercessor. And when we want to condemn someone and we become angry inside … to get angry is good it can be healthy – while to condemn does no good, let us intercede for him or her; this will help us a lot.
Can anger be righteous?