"The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds. God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross." ~ Pope Francis, 26 September 2015
I think I understand what Pope Francis is saying, but I think it is rather clumsily said and needed some additional explanation. It is clumsily said because even though, in strictly human terms, in terms, that is, of our limited human perspective, Christ's ministry on Earth led to what appeared to be failure. Yet the Cross was not failure at all, but the actual Redemption of mankind, the destroying of death itself, the defeat of the Devil and the opening of the gates of Heaven to all believers.
In fact the hour of Christ's Death on the Cross was, in Christ's own words, the hour of his glorification and the means by which He would 'draw all men' to Himself. It cannot be overlooked, either, that three days after the Lord's Passion and Death, as He said he would, He rose again as our Risen and glorified Saviour.
It is a little embarrassing that the Pope neglected to embellish on his words a little more in order to avoid misunderstanding, for it goes without saying that if - and I cannot believe he means it - that Jesus's Death on the Cross was an actual 'failure', rather than the appearance of it to human eyes - then mankind awaits another messiah, whose mission would be deemed, humanly speaking, to be a 'success'.
It is out of Christ's pierced side that flowed Blood and Water unto our redemption. From the pierced side of our Crucified Saviour comes His Bride, the Church, washed clean in His Blood. Anyone who receives the Body and Blood of Our Lord knows, surely, that it was by means of His Passion and Death, that man may know his Redeemer and love Him in return for such extraordinary and triumphant love.
God bless our Pope. He is wonderful at communicating Christ's love through his interaction with people on a human level, face to face, but is sometimes a little muddled, on the big stage, at communicating the Catholic Faith, what we hold, preach cherish and believe.