“The scarlet of a Cardinal’s robes, which is the color of blood, can, for a worldly spirit, become the color of a secular ’eminence.’  In that case, you will no longer be a shepherd who is close to his people. You will simply think that you are an ’eminence.’  Once you feel that way, you are already off the road.”

From Vatican News: 

Pope Francis on Saturday held the 7th ordinary public consistory of his pontificate to create 13 new cardinals who come from 8 nations of the world.  He shared a reflection before bestowing on them the cardinal’s birretta (red hat), the ring and the title.

He commented on a passage from Mark’s Gospel where Jesus speaks about his humiliation, passion, death and resurrection while approaching Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, James and John urge Jesus for a place of privilege when He is in glory.  But Jesus tells the two brothers they must first be ready to suffer and be a servant of others like the Son of Man.

The Pope said that the road to Jerusalem is the road of life and salvation, which is travelled with Christ and which leads to the paschal mystery of Jesus.  “The cross and the resurrection are part of our history; they are our “today” but also and always the goal of our journey.”  Jesus, who is not indifferent to the amazement and fear of his disciples, prepares them for the trials to come so that they could always be with Him on His road.

James and John, he said, instead want to take “not Jesus’ road, but a different one”.  “All of us love Jesus, all of us want to follow him,” the Pope said, “yet we must always be careful to remain on the road.”

“Our bodies can be with him, but our hearts can wander far afield and so lead us off the road.” Thinking about the “many types of corruption in priestly life”, the Pope said, “The scarlet of a Cardinal’s robes, which is the color of blood, can, for a worldly spirit, become the color of a secular ‘eminence’.” Such a person he warned “will no longer be the pastor close to the people.” “You will feel that you are only ’eminence’. When you feel that, you are off the road,” of the Lord.

The Pope said the road of Jesus and that of the disciples cannot meet.  “Only the Lord, through His cross and resurrection, can save His straying friends who risk getting lost.”

“We too, Pope and Cardinals,” the Pope said, “must always see ourselves reflected in this word of truth.”  It is a sharpened sword; it cuts, it proves painful, but it also heals, liberates and converts us.” Conversion, concluded, means to pass “from being off the road to journeying on God’s road.”

Read more. 

His full homily is here. 

You can watch the consistory below. It runs just under an hour.