Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Christians "are those who carry within themselves a deep desire, that of meeting their Lord, together with their brothers and fellow travellers. God's love is the real wealth," said Pope Francis in today's Angelus. Speaking from the Apostolic Palace, the pope commented a passage by the Evangelist Luke in which Christ makes his way towards Jerusalem and his "paschal death and resurrection", opening up his heart to the disciples. This was followed by the Marian prayer, and the pope's renewed best wishes to Muslims marking the end of Ramadan. "It is my hope," he said, "that all Christians and Muslims may be true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education."
As he made his way to Jerusalem, Christ, the pope explained, "educates them [the disciples] by confiding in them what He himself has in his heart, the deep attitudes of his soul. These attitudes include a detachment from earthly goods, trust in his Father's providence and, yes, an inner vigilance and active waiting for the Kingdom of God. For Jesus, it is the expectation of returning to his Father's house. For us, it is the expectation of Christ himself. "
This Gospel "tells us that Christians carry within themselves a deep desire, that of meeting their Lord, together with their brothers and fellow travellers. All this is summed up in a famous saying of Jesus," For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be"(Lk, 12:34)."
Speaking in a square overflowing with people despite the heat, the pope, said, "I want to ask you two questions about these words: Do you have a willing heart? One that yearns? Think about it and answer in silence, in your heart. Do you have a heart that yearns or a heart that is closed, asleep with regards to the things of life? The second question [is]: Let us ask ourselves, where is my treasure? What is for me the most important, most valuable reality; the reality that draws my heart like a magnet? Can I say that it is God's love? Someone will answer me, saying, 'Father, I work, I have family; for me the most important reality is to manage my family, my work.' . . . Of course, that is true, but what is the power that holds the family together? God's love gives the small, everyday tasks their meaning, helping us face the great trials. Such is man's real treasure."
God's love, he noted, "is not something vague, a general feeling. God's love has a name and a face: Jesus Christ. That love gives value and beauty to everything else-the family, work, study, friendship, art-to every human activity. It also gives meaning to negative experiences because it allows us to go beyond, and not remain prisoners of evil. It makes us move on, always opening ourselves to hope, to the final horizon of our pilgrimage. This way, [our] labours and falls find meaning. "
"Dear brothers and sisters, within the Church today we remember Saint Clare of Assisi, who, following in the footsteps of Francis, gave up everything to consecrate herself in poverty to Christ. Saint Clare beautifully bears witness to today's Gospel. Together with the Virgin Mary, may she help us experience it as well, each one of us according our own vocation."
Right after the Marian prayer, Francis mentioned first the Assumption and then offered his best wishes to the Islamic world.
"Dear brothers and sisters, let us remember that next Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption. Let us think about our mother, who reached heaven with Jesus. On that day, let us celebrate for her. I would like to offer my greetings to Muslims around the world; our brothers and sisters who recently celebrated the end of Ramadan, a month especially dedicated to fasting, prayer and almsgiving. As I wrote in my Message for this occasion, it is my hope that all Christians and Muslims may be true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education."
Finally, the pope offered his affectionate greetings "to all the Romans and pilgrims present. Even today, I am happy to greet some groups of young people: first of all, those who came from Chicago, on a pilgrimage to Lourdes and Rome; then the young people from Locate, Predore and Tavernola Bergamasca, and the Scouts of Victoria. I repeat to you the words that were at the heart of the great meeting in Rio, "Go and make disciples of all nations". I wish you all a good Sunday and a good lunch. Goodbye. "