On Man's True Treasure

Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s address before and after the recitation of the Angelus today from the window of the Apostolic Palace to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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Dear brothers and sisters, hello! This Sundays Gospel (Luke 12:32-48) speaks to us of the desire for the definitive meeting with Christ, a desire that makes us always ready, with our spirit awake, because we await this encounter with our whole heart, with our entire self.

This is a fundamental aspect of life. There is a desire that we all have in our heart, whether explicit or hidden, we have it in our heart, we all have this desire in our heart. It is important to see this teaching of Jesus too in the concrete, existential context in which he transmitted it. In this case, the evangelist Luke shows us Jesus, who is walking with his disciples towards Jerusalem, towards the Passover (Pasqua) of death and resurrection, and on this journey he teaches them, confiding to them what he has in his heart, the intimate attitudes of his soul. Among these attitudes is the detachment from earthly goods, the confidence in the Fathers providence and, precisely, interior vigilance, the active expectation of the Kingdom of God. For Jesus it is the expectation of returning to the house of the Father. For us it is the expectation of Christ himself, who will come to get us to bring us to the feast without end, as he has already done with his Mother, Mary Most Holy: he brought her to heaven with him. This Gospel wishes to tell us that the Christian is one who carries within himself a great desire, a profound desire: that of meeting with his Lord together with his brothers, with his companions on the road. And all of this that Jesus tells us is summed up in this well-known saying of his: Where your treasure is, there your heart is too (Luke 12:34). The heart that desires… But we all have a desire! How poor are those people who lack desire! The desire to go forward toward the horizon, and for us Christians this horizon is the encounter with Jesus, the real encounter with him, who is our life, our joy, what makes us happy. But I will ask you 2 questions. The first: Do all of you have a desiring heart, a hear that desires? Think and answer in silence and in your heart: Do you have a heart that desires, or do you have a closed heart, a heart that is asleep, a heart that is anesthetized against the things of life? The desire: to go forward to the encounter with Jesus. And the second question: Where is your treasure, that which you desire?

Because Jesus told us: Where your treasure is, there your heart is too and I ask: Where is your treasure? What is the most important, most precious reality for you, the reality that pulls at my heart like a magnet? What pulls at your heart? Can I say that it is the love of God? Is there the will to do good to others, to live for the Lord and for our brothers? Can I say this? Everyone answers in his heart. But someone might say to me: But, Father, Im someone who works, who has a family. For me the most important thing is to move my family ahead, to get ahead in work… Of course, it is true, it is important. But what is the power that unites the family? It is precisely love, and God is the one who sows love in our hearts, the love of God: It is precisely the love of God that gives meaning to the little daily duties and also helps us face the great trials. This is mans true treasure. Going forward in life with love, with that love that the Lord sowed in the heart, with the love of God. And this is the true treasure. But what is the love of God? It is not something vague, a generic sentiment. The love of God has a name and a face: Jesus Christ, Jesus. The love of God manifests itself in Jesus. Because we cannot love air… Do we love air? Do we love everything? No, it is not possible! We love persons, and the person whom we love is Jesus, the gift of the Father among us. It is a love that gives value and beauty to everything else; a love that gives strength to the family, work, study, friendship, art, to every human activity. And it gives meaning even to negative experiences because this love allows us to go beyond these experiences, to go beyond, not to remain prisoners of evil, but makes us go beyond, it always opens us up to hope. So, the love of God in Jesus always opens us up to hope, to that horizon of hope, to that ultimate horizon of our pilgrimage. In this way even our struggles and falls have a meaning. Our sins too have meaning in the love of God, because this love of God in Jesus Christ always forgives, it loves us so much that it always forgives us.

Dear brothers and sisters, today in the Church we recall St. Clare of Assisi, who, in the footsteps of Francis left everything to consecrate herself to Christ in poverty. St. Clare gives us a very beautiful witness to todays Gospel. May she help us, together with the Virgin Mary, to live it also ourselves, each one according to his own vocation.

[Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted those present:]

Dear brothers and sisters,

Let us remember that Thursday is the solemnity of Marys assumption. Let us think about Our Mother, who arrived in heaven with Jesus, and let us celebrate with her on that day. I would like to offer a greeting to Muslims throughout the world, our brothers, who a short time ago celebrated the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, dedicated in a special way to fasting, to prayer and to almsgiving. As I wrote in my message for this occasion, I hope that Christians and Muslims work to promote reciprocal understanding, especially in the education of new generations. I greet with affection the Romans and pilgrims who are present. Today too I have the joy of greeting groups of young people: first of all those who have come from Chicago, on pilgrimage from Lourdes to Roma; and then the young people of Locate, of Predore and Tavernola Bergamasca, and the Scouts of Vittoria. I repeat to you too the words that were the theme of the great meeting in Rio: Go and make disciples of all nations.

To all of you, and to everyone, I wish a good Sunday and a good lunch! Goodbye!

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