Holy Father Pope Francis while addressing the faithful gathered at St. Peter’s Square conveyed that Jesus invites us to a personal relationship with him, and not to a short-sighted faith reduced to formulas. Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, reflecting on the day’s Gospel (Mk 8:27-35). The Pontiff said that “Jesus asks his disciples the question that runs through the whole of Mark’s Gospel: “Who is Jesus?” Pope Francis said Jesus helps his disciples gradually to come to grips with this basic question about his identity.

As reported by Vatican news, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “Jesus considers the disciples’ responses inadequate. He does not even accept his disciples’ answers using pre-packaged formulas, citing famous people from Sacred Scripture because a faith that is reduced to formulas is a short-sighted faith. The Lord is inviting his disciples, now as then, to establish a personal relationship with him, and thus welcome him as the center of their lives.” Further, His Holiness added, “Jesus speaks to us at the depth of our being, and urges us to ask ourselves in all truth: “Who am I for you?” Each one of us is called to respond, in his or her own heart, letting ourselves be illuminated by the light that the Father gives us to know his Son Jesus. At times, we may respond enthusiastically like Peter, “You are the Christ”. But, like him, we may also wish to avoid the arduous path of the suffering, humiliated, rejected, and crucified Servant, which is the only path by which Jesus’ mission can be fulfilled. Our lives must bear witness to our faith.”

The Pontiff concluded his remarks by reminding that “We may sometimes take the wrong path in life, especially when we look for happiness in things. But we only find happiness when love – true love – encounters us, surprises us, and changes us.”