During his Sunday Angelus address from Rome, Pope Francis encouraged listeners to reflect upon the day's Gospel in which Jesus reminds his disciples to treasure the things of heaven.
“We can ask ourselves, where is my treasure? What is the most important reality for me, the reality that attracts my heart like a magnet? Can I say that it is the love of God?” Pope Francis asked the crowds in St. Peter's Square Aug. 11.
Sunday's Gospel reading, he said, tells us that a Christian “is one who carries within himself a great and profound desire” for “a meeting with the Lord.”
This is true for every Christian, noted Pope Francis. Some might protest, “but Father, I am a worker, I have a family, for me it is most important to manage my family and my work.”
“Certainly, it’s true, it is important. But what is the force that holds the family together? It is precisely the love of God that gives sense to the little daily commitments and also helps us to confront great trials,” the Pope said.
He added, “God’s love is not something vague, a generic sentiment; God’s love has a name and a face: Jesus Christ.”
“The love of God is manifest in Jesus. We can’t love the air, the atmosphere. We love people! And the Person that we love is Jesus – the gift of the Father for us.”
The Gospel speaks of the desire for a “definitive meeting with Christ, a desire that makes us remain always ready, with an alert spirit, because we await this meeting with all of our hearts,” said the Pope.
Departing from his written text, Pope Francis asked the audience, “think and respond in the silence of your heart. Do you have a heart that desires, or a heart that is closed, asleep? Do you have a heart that is anesthetized towards the things of life?”
The love of God gives value and beauty to everything else in life, the Pope said. It even “gives sense to negative experiences, because it allows us to go beyond, to not remain prisoners of evil, but helps us move forward, opening us always to hope, to the final horizon of our pilgrimage.”
“It is at this horizon that we meet Jesus.”
The crowds cheered as Pope Francis exhorted them, “Go forward in life with love – with that love that God has planted in your hearts! With the love of God! This is the true treasure.”