Angelus Address: On Parables of Hidden Treasure & the Precious Pearl

Jesus “Is the Hidden Treasure; He Is the Pearl of Great Value

Angelus / Foto: Francesco Sforza - © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Here is a ZENIT working translation of the address Pope Francis gave yesterday, July 30, 2017, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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Before the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

Jesus’ parabolic discourse, which groups seven parables in the 13th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, ends with the three similar ones of today: the hidden treasure (v. 44), the precious pearl (v. 45-46) and the fishing net (v. 47-48). I pause on the first two, which stress the protagonists’ decision to sell all to obtain what they have discovered. In the first case it is a farmer who by chance encounters a hidden treasure in the field where he is working. The field not being his property, he must acquire it if he wants to possess the treasure: so he decides to risk all his wealth so as not to lose that truly exceptional occasion. In the second case we find a merchant of precious pearls; he, as an expert connoisseur, has singled out a pearl of great value. He also decides to stake everything on that pearl, to the point of selling all the others.

These similarities make evident two characteristics regarding the possession of the Kingdom of God: search and sacrifice. It is true that the Kingdom of God is offered to all – it is a gift, it is a present, it is grace — however, it is not made available on a silver plate; it requires dynamism: one has to search, walk, get going. The attitude of search is the essential condition to find; it is necessary that the heart burn with the desire to reach the precious good, namely, the Kingdom of God that makes itself present in the person of Jesus. He is the hidden treasure; He is the pearl of great value. He is the fundamental discovery, who can give a decisive turn to our life, filling it with meaning.

In face of the unexpected discovery, both the farmer as well as the merchant realize they have before them a unique occasion that they must not miss. Therefore, they sell all that they possess. The assessment of the inestimable value of the treasure, leads to a decision that also implies sacrifice, detachment and renunciations. When the treasure and the pearl were discovered, when, that is, we have found the Lord, this discovery must not be left sterile, but we must sacrifice for it every thing else. It is not about showing contempt for the rest but of subordinating it to Jesus, putting Him in the first place – grace in the first place. Christ’s disciple is not one who has deprived himself of something that is essential: he is one who has found much more: he has found the full joy that only the Lord can give. It is the evangelical joy of the cured sick, of the forgiven sinners, of the thief for whom the door of Paradise opens.

The joy of the Gospel fills the heart and whole life of those that encounter Jesus. Those who let themselves be saved by Him are freed from sin, from sadness, from interior emptiness, from isolation. Joy is ever born and reborn with Jesus Christ (Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, n 1). Today we are exhorted to contemplate the joy of the farmer and of the merchant of the parables. It is the joy of every one of us when we discover the closeness and consoling presence of Jesus in our life — a presence that transforms the heart and opens us to the needs and the reception of brothers, especially the weakest.

Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we pray so that each one of us is able to witness, with daily words and gestures, the joy of having found the treasure of the Kingdom of God, namely, the love the Father has given us through Jesus.

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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After the Angelus

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Observed today is the World Day against the Trafficking in Persons, promoted by the United Nations.

Today is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, sponsored by the United Nations. Each year, thousands of men, women and children are innocent victims of sexual and organ trafficking, and it seems we are so accustomed to seeing it as a normal thing. This is ugly, it is cruel, it is criminal! I would like to draw on everyone’s commitment to make this aberrant plague, a modern form of slavery, adequately countered. Let us pray together to the Virgin Mary to support the victims of trafficking and to convert the hearts of traffickers.

Hail Mary . . .

I now greet all the pilgrims from Italy and from different countries, in particular the Murialdine Sisters of Saint Joseph, the Novices of the Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, the ministers of various Italian parishes, and the Italian Club of Women’s Hockey of Buenos Aires.

I wish all a good Sunday and, please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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