During the Angelus Pope Francis stressed that “the building of the Kingdom requires not only God’s grace, but also the active willingness of humanity.” Life is "mediocre" when it is satisfied with "attractive but ephemeral things, whose bright lights prove illusory as they give way to darkness.” Creativity is the path to give life. The pontiff called for a round of applause for grandparents, urging young people to visit the elderly. He also praised the ceasefire in the Donbass.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In the two parables of the "treasure hidden in the field" and the "precious pearl", “Jesus proposes to involve us in the building of the Kingdom of Heaven, presenting one of its essential characteristics: those who fully pledge themselves to the Kingdom are those who are willing to stake everything,” said Pope Francis as he reflected upon today's gospel (Matthew 13:44-52, 17th Sunday of the Year, A) at the start of Angelus, his weekly appointment with pilgrims in St Peter's Square.
“Indeed, both the man and the merchant in these two parables sell everything they have, thus renouncing their material security. From this it can be understood that the building of the Kingdom requires not only God’s grace, but also the active willingness of humanity.”
“We are called upon to assume the attitude of these two Gospel figures, so that we too may become healthily restless seekers of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a matter of abandoning the heavy burden of our worldly certainties that prevent us from searching and building up the Kingdom: the covetousness for possession, the thirst for profit and power, and thinking only of ourselves.
“In our times, some people’s lives can end up mediocre and dull because they probably do not go in search of real treasure: they are satisfied with attractive but ephemeral things, whose bright lights prove illusory as they give way to darkness.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is the opposite of the superfluous things that the world offers, the opposite of a dull life: it is a treasure that renews life every day and leads it to extend towards wider horizons. Indeed, those who have found this treasure have a creative and inquisitive heart, which does not repeat but rather invents, tracing and setting out on new paths which lead us to love God, to love others, and to truly love ourselves. The sign of those who walk along the path of the Kingdom is creativity . . . always seeking many ways to give life.
“Jesus, who is the hidden treasure and the pearl of great value, cannot but inspire joy, all the joy of the world: the joy of discovering a meaning in life, the joy of committing oneself to the adventure of holiness.”
After the Marian prayer, Pope Francis urged the faithful to give a round of applause for grandparents, in the liturgical memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’s grandparents.
He also called on young people to be "creative" in showing their love for the elderly, to visit them, keep in touch with them via social media, break the walls of their solitude. "They are your roots,” he said.
The pontiff then expressed his satisfaction for the new ceasefire agreement in the Donbass, the region in the Donets River basin that declared itself autonomous from Ukraine in 2014, and that has been a permanent theatre of war ever since. He went on to express hope that the agreement would be upheld, but Ukraine has accused the Russian-backed Donbass forces of violating all agreements so far.