VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Doing God’s will means first of all believing in Jesus and allowing love for him to translate into love for one’s neighbors, Pope Francis said.
The Gospel story of the multiplication of loaves demonstrates the concern Jesus showed for people’s daily physical needs, the pope said, but the passages that follow show how “it is even more important to cultivate our relationship with him, reinforcing our faith in him who is the ‘bread of life’ come to satisfy our hunger for truth, our hunger for justice, our hunger for love.”
Before reciting the Angelus prayer Aug. 5 with visitors in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis offered a commentary on the day’s Gospel reading, John 6:24-35, which tells of the crowds fed by Jesus following him and asking him what it means to do “the works of God.”
Jesus answers, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
With his reply, the pope said, Jesus wants the crowd to take a further step in faith and “ask themselves the meaning of the miracle (of the multiplication of the loaves) and not just profit from it.”
Jesus “wants to satisfy not only their bodies but also their souls, giving them the spiritual food that can satisfy their deeper hungers,” Pope Francis said.
The people thought that if they performed certain specific acts, God would respond with miracles like the feeding of the crowd with only five loaves and two fish, the pope said, but Jesus wants the people to know that God loves them as his own children and wants a relationship with them.
“This is a common temptation: to reduce religion to just following the laws, projecting onto our relationship with God the image of the relationship between slaves and their master,” he said. “Slaves must do the tasks their master has assigned in order to receive his favor.”
Telling the people that doing God’s work means believing in Jesus shows that “faith in Jesus allows us to do the works of God,” the pope said. “If we let ourselves be engaged in this relationship of love and trust with Jesus, we will be capable of doing good works that have the perfume of the Gospel for the good and the necessities of our brothers and sisters.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103