Pope's Angelus Message
On the 18th Sunday in ordinary time today, the Word of God urges us to reflect on what our relationship should be with material goods. Wealth, although it is good in itself, should not be considered absolutely good. Above all, it does not assure salvation, but ti could even compromise it seriously.
It is this that Jesus wants his disciples about, in today's Gospel. It is wise and virtuous not to attach ourselves to worldly goods because everything passes, everything can end suddenly.
The true treasure that we Christians should pursue ceaselessly are in "the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father".
St. Paul in his Letter to the Colossians reminds us of that today, adding that our life is henceforth "hidden with Christ in God" (cfr 3,1-3).
The Solemnity of the Transfiguration of our Lord, which we celebrate tomorrow, also invites us to turn our eyes 'upward', toward heaven. In the Gospel account of the transfiguration, we are given a premonitory sign which allows us a fleeting glimpse of the kingdom of the saints where even we, at the end of our earthly existence, may share in the glory of Christ which is complete, total and definitive. At that time, the whole universe will be transfigured and the divine design of salvation will finally be fulfilled.
The Feast of the Transfiguration is now linked as well to the memory of my venerated predecessor, the Servant of God Paul VI, who completed his earthly mission here at Castel Gandolfo in 1978, and was called to the house of our heavenly Father.
May his memory be an invitation for us to look upward and to faithfully serve the Lord and the Church, as he did in the last century during a period which was not easy.
May this grace be obtained for us by the Virgin Mary, whom we remember today in celebrating the liturgical memory of the Dedication of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
As you know, this was the first Basilica in the West constructed in honor of Mary, rebuilt in 432 by Pope Sixtus III to celebrate the Divine Maternity of the Virgin, a dogma which was solemnly proclaimed by the ecumenical council of Ephesus the year before.
May the Virgin, who, more than any other creature, participated in the mystery of Christ, sustain us in our journey of faith in order that, as today's liturgy invites us to pray, "operating with our powers to subjugate the earth, we do not allow ourselves to be dominated by cupidity and selfishness, but that we may always look for that which has value in the eyes of God" (cfr Collect).