“The world needs Christ more than ever, needs His salvation and His merciful love,” Francis said on Sunday.
“Many people sense a void around and inside of them. Perhaps some of us too,” he reflected, according to Catholic News Agency.
The Roman Catholic Church leader said during a gathering of pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square that “Jesus knows the heart of man like no other,” and is able to heal and console humanity.
Francis said people need to focus on who Jesus is, and shared Christ’s Words to His disciples, where He says: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The Vatican leader argued that it is not an “ornamental or an ideological cross,” but the cross of daily life and sacrifice.
“It is the cross of solidarity with the poor, of our commitment to justice and peace,” the pontiff continued.
At the end of the service, Francis touched upon World Refugee Day on Monday, an issue that is close to his heart.
The Catholic leader said refugees are “people like everyone else, but from whom war has taken their house, work, relatives and friends.”
“Because of this we wish to be with them: to meet them, to welcome them, to listen to them, to become with them artisans of peace, according to the will of God,” he added.
UNHCR revealed in a report on Monday that as many as 65.3 million people are living as refugees or internally displaced migrants, which is the highest number since Wold War II.
Francis has urged compassion for the millions of refugees streaming into Europe fleeing civil war and terrorism, such as the persecution of Christians and other minorities carried out by the Islamic State terror group.
Back in March, the pope washed and kissed the feet of 12 refugees ahead of Easter, declaring that people of all religions are “children of the same God.”
“All of us together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals … all brothers and children of the same God,” the pontiff said at the foot washing ceremony. “We want to live together in peace.”