Pope Benedict: True riches are in heaven

2012-10-14 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) In his first Sunday Angelus since the beginning of the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict welcoming the faithful to St Peter’s Square focused his attention on one of the most famous Gospel stories. The parable is of a rich man who asks Jesus how he can enter the kingdom of God and who receives the notable reply,

"It 's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

The Holy Father explained to those gathered that Jesus teaches that it is very difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, but not impossible, in fact, the Pope said, God can win the heart of a person who possesses great wealth and can push them to work for solidarity and sharing with those in need.

Pope Benedict also underlined the fact that wealth does not bring true happiness.

The man in the Gospel, continued the Holy Father is someone who has observed God’s commandments but like many people thinks that eternal life can somehow be bought.

Jesus, notes Pope Benedict, is underlining the fact that the riches of heaven far out way those of this world, which is why he asks the man in the parable to give his wealth to the poor.

The Pope concluded his address by saying that this story teaches us that the rich should not neglect their salvation. He also remarked on the number of Saints, such as St. Francis, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Charles Borromeo who had given up their wealth to follow God.

Following the recitation of the Marian prayer the Holy Father, drew the attention of those present in St Peter’s Square, back to the Year of Faith.

“During this Year of Faith may we, like the man in today’s Gospel, have the courage to ask the Lord what more can we do, especially for the poor, the lonely, the sick and the suffering, so as to be witnesses and heirs to the eternal life God promises.”

He also recalled those who had died for the Faith such as Federico Bachstein and thirteen Brothers of the Order of Friars Minor who were beatified this weekend.

He said they were killed in 1611 because of their faith and this reminds us of those people who are willing to suffer for Christ.Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report