Vatican City, Jun 21, 2013 / 08:45 am
We have hearts that are restless and in search of treasure, Pope Francis said in his daily homily at the Vatican's Saint Martha House, and we should seek the treasure of a loving heart.
"What do I have, a tired heart, that only wants to settle itself, three, four things, a good bank account, this or that thing," he asked June 21. "This restlessness of the heart always has to be cured."
In attendance at the Mass were members of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts as well as employees from Saint Martha House and from the Roman cathedral, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran.
His reflections were prompted by Christ's saying, "where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."
Christ "joins the treasure to the heart," he said, showing a relationship between the two.
The Bishop of Rome explained that people should focus on treasures they can take with them to heaven and that "we must be careful not to be confused about true richness."
"There are risky treasures that threaten to seduce us, but must be left behind. Treasures gathered in life that are destroyed by death."
"I have never seen a moving van following a funeral procession," he quipped.
"Love, charity, service, patience, goodness, (and) tenderness are very beautiful treasures – these we bring with us. The other things, no."
"The treasures we have given to others, that we take with us and that will be our merit, but it is our merit of Jesus Christ in us," he said.
"There is a treasure we can take with us, a treasure that no one can take away: not those things you've kept for yourself, but those you have given to others."
"If the treasure is a treasure that is not close to the Lord, that is not from the Lord, our heart becomes restless for things that simply don't work, for these treasures, so many people, even we ourselves, are restless," he told them.
He alluded to the opening line of Saint Augustine of Hippo's "Confessions," in which the fifth century bishop said, "our hearts are restless until they rest in you" – in God.
The Roman Pontiff said that "we have a restless heart, which the Lord made this way to seek him out … to find him and to grow."
If our restless hearts focus on created things rather than on God, "our heart is tired," he said, "it is never filled. It becomes sluggish, it becomes a heart without love."
Such a heart is "darkened," he said, and has lost its "ability to judge things" correctly.
Concelebrants of the Mass were three officials from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts: its president, Cardinal Francis Coccopalmerio; its secretary, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta; and its undersecretary, Bishop José Aparecido Gonzalves de Almeida.
Pope Francis concluded by asking the intercession of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a Jesuit renowned for his purity, for the grace of "a new heart … of flesh" in place of a "heart of stone … attached to worldly treasures."
"All these pieces of the heart that are of stone, may the Lord make them human, with that restlessness, with that good anxiety to go forward, seeking him and allowing ourselves to be sought by him … and so he will save us," prayed the Bishop of Rome.
"He will save us from the treasures that cannot help us in the encounter with him … and also will give us the light to understand and judge according to the true treasure, his truth."
"May the Lord change our heart in order to seek the true treasure and so become people of light, and not of darkness."