Lives built on 'sands' of power and money do not satisfy, Pope says

papa31 Pope Benedict XVI

On Christ, and not on the “sands of power, success and money,” does man find the true place to build his life, said Pope Benedict XVI at the Sunday Angelus.

From his studio window high above St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict spoke about the Sunday reading in which Jesus says that “only the one who does the will of my Father” will enter into heaven.

During the "Sermon on the Mount" described in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus explains that those who listen to his words and act on them are like a “wise man who built his house on rock.” Those who do not, he warns, are like the “fool” who builds his house on sand, only to have it collapse in a storm.

This conclusion, said the Pope, is an invitation to Jesus' disciples to listen to his words and put them in practice. Through this parable, Christ calls the disciple to a greater allegiance to his words.

“The invisible God out of the abundance of his love speaks to men as friends and lives among them, so that he may invite and take them into fellowship with himself,” the Pope said, quoting from a Vatican II document.

“In this vision every man and woman appears as someone to whom the Word speaks, challenges and calls to enter this dialogue of love through a free response,” he said.

This means that people of every age who have had “the grace to know Jesus,” the “living word of God,” see in him “the true face of God,” said Pope Benedict.

And, at the same time, Jesus “makes us feel the joy of being the children of the father that is in heaven, indicating to us the solid base on which to build our lives.”

Still, the Pope observed, man often prefers to build his life on “the sands of power, success and money.”

He asked, “on what thing do we wish to build our lives? Who can truly respond to the restlessness of the human heart?”

Pope Benedict summed up the response in a single phrase: “Christ is the rock of our life!”

“He is the eternal and definitive word that is not scared by any type of adversity, difficulty or unease.”

He prayed that God's word would permeate the life, thoughts and actions of all.

The Pope concluded his pre-Angelus teaching by exhorting the faithful to “make space” for God's word daily, to feed themselves with it and contemplate it always. “It is a precious aid also for keeping oneself away from a superficial activism, that might satisfy pride for a moment, but that, in the end, leaves us empty and unsatisfied.”

As Mary did, “we wish to renew our 'yes' and entrust our path with confidence to God,” he said.

After the Marian prayer of the Angelus, Pope Benedict drew his attention to the March 2 murder of Pakistani minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti. He prayed that his “moving sacrifice ... might awaken in consciences the courage and the commitment to protect the religious liberty of all men and, likewise, to promoting their equal dignity.”

He also prayed for the victims of conflict in Libya. He ensured his closeness to them and all people who find themselves in “distressing situations.”

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