The effectiveness of the Word of God and the needs of His Kingdom, which are the reasons for our hope and our efforts throughout history were the theme of the Pope’s reflection before last Sunday’s Angelus. To the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Francis explained the two brief parables from the Gospel: the seed that grows in the earth alone and the tiny mustard seed that becomes the largest plant.
“In the first parable, our attention is placed on the fact that the seed, thrown on the ground, takes root and develops by itself, whether the farmer sleeps or is awake. The farmer trusts in the inner strength of the seed itself and of the fertility of the ground. In the language of the Gospel, the seed is the symbol of the Word of God, Whose fruitfulness is recalled by this parable. Just as the humble seed that develops in the ground, so the Word operates with God’s power in the heart of those who listen. God entrusted His Word to our earth, that is, to each one of us without concrete humanity”.
The second parable uses the image of the mustard seed that, despite being the smallest of the seeds, grows to become “the largest of plants”. “Thus is the Kingdom of God: a humanly small and apparently irrelevant reality. To become a part of it, one must be poor of heart; not trusting in one’s own abilities, but rather in the power of God’s love; not acting so as to be important in the eyes of the world, but precious in the eyes of God, who prefers the simple and the humble. When we live like this, the strength of Christ erupts through us and transforms what is small and modest into a reality that leavens the entire mass of the world and of history”.
The teaching of these two parables, Francis underlined, is that the Kingdom of God requires our collaboration, but it is above all the initiative and gift of the Lord. “Our feeble work, seemingly small faced with the complexity of the problems of the world, if embedded into that of God, no longer fears difficulty. The victory of the Lord is sure: His love will lead every seed of good present on the earth to germinate and grow. It opens us up to trust and hope, despite the tragedies, injustice and suffering we encounter. The seed of good and of peace germinates and develops because it is ripened by the merciful love of God”.
“May the Holy Virgin, who received as ‘fertile earth’ the seed of the divine Word, sustain us in this hope that never lets us down.”