Photo: Pope Francis waves during the Angelus July 27 from the window of the Apostolic Palace in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/ Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)
Vatican City (VIS) – “The Gospel lets you know the true Jesus, it lets you know the living Jesus; it speaks to your heart and changes your life,” said Pope Francis during his weekly Angelus appearance in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, July 27.
The pope spoke about the two parables about the kingdom of Heaven: the jewel merchant who finds a pearl of infinite value and sells everything he owns to buy it, and the farmer who chances upon hidden treasure and sells all his land to buy the field where it lies. Neither the merchant nor the farmer have any doubt about their actions as they are aware of the incomparable value of what they have found.
“It is the same with the kingdom of God,” explained the pope. “He who finds it has no doubt, he knows that he has found what he sought and awaited, and which answers his most authentic aspirations. It is truly like this: those who know Jesus, who encounter Him personally, are fascinated, attracted by such goodness, such truth, such beauty, and all this in great humility and simplicity. Seeking and finding Jesus: this is the greatest treasure of all!”
“How many people, how many saints, reading the Gospel with an open heart, have been so struck by Jesus that they have converted to Him. Let us think of St. Francis of Assisi; he was already a Christian, but lukewarm, a “rose-water” Christian. When he read the Gospel, in a decisive moment during his youth, he encountered Jesus and discovered the Kingdom of God, and from then on all his dreams of earthly glory vanished. The Gospel lets you know the true Jesus, it lets you know the living Jesus; it speaks to your heart and changes your life. And from then on, he left everything. You can effectively change the type of life you lead, or continue to do what you did before, but you are different, you are born again: you have found that which gives meaning, flavor and light to everything, even to hardship, suffering and death.”
The pope went on to repeat the importance of reading a passage from the Gospel every day; of keeping it in our pockets, our bags, always at hand, as “everything makes sense when you find this treasure that Jesus called ‘the Kingdom of God’: that is, God Who reigns in your life, in our lives. God is love, peace and joy in every man and in all men. … Reading the Gospel means finding Jesus and receiving this Christian joy, which is a gift from the Holy Spirit.”
“The joy of encountering the treasure of the Kingdom of God becomes clear, it can be seen,” Pope Francis concluded. “The Christian cannot conceal his faith, as it shines through in every word and every gesture, even the simplest everyday ones. The love that God has given us through Jesus shines through. Let us pray, by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, that His Kingdom of love, justice and peace may come to us and to all the world.”