"[To do] God's work is to wlcome the One whom the Father has sent, that is, Himself, Jesus. It is not adding religious practices or observing special precepts; it is welcoming Jesus into our lives, living a love story with Him. It is He who will purify our faith".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - It is not enough to seek God, we must also ask ourselves why we seek Him and "welcome" Jesus who is "the bread of life", with a love that must be disinterested, because if "it is right to present our needs to God's heart", true love is gratuitous: "one does not love in order to receive a favour in return!". This is also true in relationships with others, underlined Pope Francis before the recitation of the Angelus from the window of his study.
To some thousands of people present in St Peter's Square, Francis, commenting on the Gospel passage (Jn 6:24-35) in which the people, after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, go looking for Jesus, said that "we might think it is a very good thing, yet the Gospel teaches us that it is not enough to seek God, we must also ask ourselves why we seek him".
One must ask "why do we seek the Lord? What motivates our faith? We need to discern this," he said, "because among the many temptations we have in life there is one that we could call the idolatrous temptation. It is the one that drives us to seek God for our own purpose, to solve problems, to seek a grace from Him what we cannot obtain on our own. Out of interest. But in this way faith remains superficial and miraculous: we seek God to feed us and then forget about Him when we are full. At the centre of this immature faith there is no God, there are our needs, our interests".
It is right," he continued, "to present our needs to God's heart, but the Lord, who acts far beyond our expectations, wishes to live with us first of all in a relationship of love. And true love is disinterested, it is gratuitous: one does not love to receive a favour in return! This is interest".
And there is "a second question, the one the crowd asks Jesus: "What must we do to do the works of God?" (v. 28). It is as if the people, provoked by Jesus, were saying: 'How can we purify our search for God? How do we move from a magical faith, which thinks only of our own needs, to a faith that pleases God?' And Jesus shows the way: he answers that the work of God is to welcome the One the Father has sent, that is, Himself, Jesus. It is not adding religious practices or observing special precepts; it is welcoming Jesus into our lives, living a love story with Him. It is He who will purify our faith. We are not able to do this on our own. But the Lord desires a loving relationship with us: before the things we receive and do, there is Him to love".
"There is a relationship with Him that goes beyond the logic of interest and calculation. This is true with regard to God, but also in our human and social relationships: when we seek above all the satisfaction of our needs, we risk using people and instrumentalising situations for our own purposes". "And a society that puts interests at the centre instead of people is a society that does not generate life".
"The invitation of the Gospel is this: rather than being concerned only about the material bread that feeds us, let us welcome Jesus as the bread of life and, starting from our friendship with Him, let us learn to love one another. With gratuitousness and without calculation. Free love, without using people".
After the recitation of the Marian prayer, in his greeting to those present, noting the flags of Peru and recalling that the country has a new president, he added: "God bless Peru, always".