Pope Francis prays Angelus in
St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 4 August 2019
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today's Gospel (see Lk 12: 13-21) opens with the scene of a man who stands up in the crowd and asks Jesus to settle a legal question about the family inheritance. But He does not address the question in the answer, and urges us to stay away from greed, that is, from the greed to possess. To divert his listeners from this frantic search for wealth, Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool, who believes he is happy because he has had the fortune of an exceptional year and feels secure for the accumulated assets. It will be nice that you read it today; it is in the twelfth chapter of St. Luke, verse 13. It is a beautiful parable that teaches us so much. The story comes alive when the contrast between what the rich person designs for himself and how much God shows him emerges.
The rich person puts before his soul, that is to himself, three considerations: the many assets piled up, the many years that these goods seem to assure him and thirdly, the unrestrained tranquility and well-being (see v.19). But the word God addressed to him cancels these projects of his. Instead of "many years", God indicates the immediacy of "tonight; you will die tonight "; in place of the "enjoyment of life" presents him with "making life; you will give life to God ", with the consequent judgment. As for the reality of the many accumulated goods on which the rich had to found everything, it is covered by the sarcasm of the question: "And what has he prepared, whose will it be?" (V.20). We think of struggles for inheritance; many family struggles. And so many people, we all know some history, that at the time of death begins to come: the grandchildren, the grandchildren come to see: "But what is my turn?", And take everything away. It is in this contrast that the appellation of "fool" is justified - because he thinks of things he believes to be concrete but they are a fantasy - with which God turns to this man. He is a fool because in practice he denied God, he did not reckon with Him.
The conclusion of the parable, formulated by the evangelist, is of singular efficacy: "So it is of him who accumulates treasure for himself and does not get rich near God" (v.21). It is a warning that reveals the horizon towards which we are all called to look. Material goods are necessary - they are goods! -, but they are a means of living honestly and sharing with the most needy. Jesus today invites us to consider that riches can bind the heart and distract it from the true treasure that is in heaven. San Paolo also reminds us of this in today's second reading. Thus he says: "Seek the things from above. ... turn your thoughts to things above, not to those of the earth "(Col 3: 1-2).
This - we understand - does not mean to get away from reality, but to look for things that have real value: justice, solidarity, acceptance, fraternity, peace, all of which constitute the true dignity of man. It is a matter of striving for a life realized not according to the worldly style, but according to the evangelical style: to love God with our whole being, and to love one's neighbor as Jesus loved him, that is, in service and in the gift of oneself. The greed of goods, the desire to have goods, does not satisfy the heart, rather it causes more hunger! Greed is like those good candies: you take one and say, "Ah! What a good ", and then take the other one; and one pulls the other. Such is covetousness: it is never satisfied. Be careful! Love understood in this way and lived is the source of true happiness, while the disproportionate search for material goods and riches is often a source of anxiety, adversity, prevarication, war. Many wars begin because of greed.
May the Virgin Mary help us not to be fascinated by the securities that pass, but to be credible every day as witnesses to the eternal values of the Gospel.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
they are spiritually close to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people. I invite you to join in my prayer for those who have lost their lives, for the wounded and their families. Ave Maria…
One hundred sixty years ago, like today, the holy Curé of Ars died, a model of goodness and charity for all priests. On this significant anniversary, I wanted to send a Letter to the priests of the whole world, to encourage them in fidelity to the mission to which the Lord called them. The testimony of this humble and totally dedicated parish priest, helps to rediscover the beauty and importance of the ministerial priesthood in contemporary society.
I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims from various countries: families, associations, individual faithful.
Today there are several groups of children and young people. I greet you with great affection! Where there are young people there is noise and this is a grace. In particular, I greet the women's basketball teams from the American Universities of New Mexico and Nebraska; the youth pastoral group of Verona; the young people of Ponte di Brenta, Entratico, Cerese; the Seminarians of the Minor Seminary of Bergamo.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
Source: Unofficial Translation from Vatican.va