By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis invited the faithful to cultivate their relationship with God, because faith in Jesus, he said allows us spiritually nourished and to carry out good works for the good of our brothers and sisters.
The Pope was speaking to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus. He reflected on the Gospel reading of the day and recalled the beloved Pope VI – the Pope of modernity – who 40 years ago was living the last hours of his earthly life.
Reflecting on the liturgy that tells of a crowd that has been nourished by Jesus and that sets out in search of him, Pope Francis explained that for Jesus, it is not enough that people simply search for him, He wants the people to know him and to understand that He came to bring us more than material satisfaction, opening our lives to a horizon that is broader than the daily concerns of eating, clothing oneself, a career, and so on.
Jesus is the true bread of life
“He, the true ‘bread of life’, the Pope said, wants to satisfy not only bodies but also souls, offering spiritual nourishment that can satisfy the deepest hunger”.
Commenting on how often we too do not understand the Lord’s invitation not to “work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life”, Francis said it is “a common temptation to reduce religion to the practice of the laws” thinking that it is enough to perform good actions in order to please God.
Jesus, he said, gives an unexpected indication: “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent”.
“These words are addressed to us as well, today: God's work does not consist so much in "doing" things, but in "believing" in Him whom He has sent” he said.
Works that have the perfume of the Gospel
And “better still, the Pope continued, faith in Jesus allows us to carry out God's works. If we let ourselves be involved in this relationship of love and trust with Jesus, we will be able to carry out good works that have the perfume of the Gospel, for the good of our brothers and sisters.
The Lord, Pope Francis concluded, invites us “not to forget that, if it is necessary to be concerned about material needs, it is even more important to cultivate our relationship with Him, to strengthen our faith in Him who is the "bread of life", the one who came to satisfy our hunger for truth, justice and love.
The Pope ended his catechesis with a prayer to the Virgin Mary, on the day when we remember the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, to support us in our journey of faith and help us to abandon ourselves with joy to God's plan for our lives.