08/05/2018, 14.50
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Pope remembers Paul VI, 'the great pope of modernity'

At the Angelus, Pope Francis marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Montini, whom he will canonize on October 14th. Encounter with Jesus goes "beyond the immediate satisfaction of material needs". God's work does not consist in "doing" things, but in "believing" in the One He has sent. The memorial of the dedication of the basilica of Saint Mary Major, "the Virgin Mary, Salus populi romani".


Vatican City (AsiaNews) -  Pope Francis commemorated the 40th anniversay of Pope Paul VI today involking "a round of applause" for  "this great pope of modernity" who died  August 6, 1978. Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square for the recital of the Angelus, before the final greetings, he added: "We remember him with such veneration and gratitude, awaiting his canonization, on October 14th. From heaven may he intercede for the Church that he loved so much and for peace in the world ".

Previously, Francis paused to comment on the Sunday gospel (18th per year, B, John 6: 24-35), which tells how people sought Jesus after the multiplication of the loaves. "But to Jesus - he explains - it is not enough for people to look for him, he wants people to know him; he wants this search for him and encounter with him to go beyond the immediate satisfaction of material needs. Jesus came to bring us something more, to open our existence to a broader horizon than the daily wories of feeding ourselves, dressing ourselves, our jobs, and so on. Therefore, turning to the crowd, he exclaims: "You seek me not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten of those loaves and have satiated" (v.26). So he urges people to take a step forward, to wonder about the meaning of the miracle, and not just to take advantage of it ".

Jesus "invites the crowd not to procure food that does not last, but that which remains for eternal life (see v. 27). It is a food that Jesus gives us every day: his Word, his Body, his Blood. The crowd listens to the Lord's invitation, but does not understand its meaning ... Jesus' listeners think that He is asking them to observe the precepts in order to obtain other miracles such as the multiplication of the loaves. It is a common temptation, this, to reduce religion only to the practice of laws, projecting the image of the relationship between the servants and their master on our relationship with God: the servants must perform the tasks that the master has assigned them, to have his benevolence. It's something we are all familiar with. Therefore, the crowd wants Jesus to tell them what they need to do to please God. But Jesus gives an unexpected answer: "This is the work of God: believe in the One whom He has sent" (v. 29). Today, these words are also addressed to us: God's work does not consist in the 'doing' of things, but in 'believing' in the One he has sent; or rather, faith in Jesus allows us to do the works of God. If we allow ourselves to be involved in this relationship of love and trust with Jesus, we will be able to do good works that have the odour of the Gospel, for the good and the needs of our brothers and sisters".

"The Lord - he concluded - invites us not to forget that, even though we need to worry about material bread, it is even more important to cultivate our relationship with him, to strengthen our faith in him, which is the" bread of life ". To satiate our hunger for truth, our hunger for justice, our hunger for love. May the Virgin Mary, on the day when we remember the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major  in Rome, the Roman Salus populi, sustain us on our journey of faith and help us to abandon ourselves with joy to God's plan on our life".

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