(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer, Pope Francis focused his attention on Sunday’s Gospel reading from Mark, which recounts Jesus' encounter with the "rich young man".
The Holy Father explained that this text was built around the "three gazes of Jesus."
Listen to Lydia O'Kane's report
The first is his "intense gaze full of tenderness and affection," when the young man expressed that "for him observance of the precepts is not enough, since it does not meet with his desire for wholeness. "
The Pope noted that Jesus understood the man’s weak point, and made a concrete proposal: give all his possessions to the poor and follow him. But the young man's heart, Pope Francis continued, was torn between two masters: God and money, and he went away sad. This, the Holy Father underlined, shows that one cannot live the faith and be attached to wealth.
Pope Francis said Jesus’ "second gaze" was "the thoughtful gaze, and one of warning, denoting the Gospel phrase, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God”.
The third gaze of Jesus, is the look of encouragement, said the Pope; it is the one which says, “if we free ourselves from the slavery of things we gain the freedom to serve for love.”
"The young man,” the Holy Father stressed, “did not allow himself to be won over by Jesus’ loving gaze, and therefore could not change. He said that only by accepting with humble gratitude the love of the Lord do we free ourselves from the seduction of idols and the blindness of our illusions.
Then speaking off the cuff to the young people present in St Peter’s Square, the Pope asked, “have you felt Jesus' gaze on you? What do you say to that? Do you prefer to leave this square with the joy that Jesus gives us or the sadness caused by worldliness?"
Following the Angelus prayer Pope Francis recalled that Tuesday, 13 October, is International Day for Disaster Reduction.
"We must unfortunately recognise,” he said, “that the effects of such calamities are often compounded by man’s lack of care of the environment.”
The Pope went on to say that, he joined with those who “with foresight are committed to the protection of our common home, to the promotion of a global and local culture of disaster reduction and to greater resilience against them, through harmonising new and traditional knowledge, with particular attention for the most vulnerable populations."