During his Angelus address on Sunday to the pilgrims and tourists who braved the heat in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled the Gospel reading of the day, the famous parable of the sower.
The Pope explained that the sower is Jesus, but the parable itself, the Pope went on to say concerns us, as it speaks of the soil and not the sower.
The Holy Father noted that “Jesus performs, so to speak, a “spiritual radiography” of our heart”, which is the ground upon which the seed of the Word falls. Our heart, he added, “is like the soil, it can be good when the Word bears fruit, but it can also be hard, and waterproof.”
Pope Francis also described how in between these forms of soil, there are two types of land. The first, he said, is a stony ground where the seed cannot put down deep roots. This, the Pope added, “is the superficial heart that welcomes the Lord, wants to pray, love and testify, but does not persevere…”
The Holy Father continued, then “there is the thorny ground, full of rocks that suffocate the good plants.” This form of soil, he said, was the world seduced by wealth and greed, adding that the rocks were the vices that inhabit a person’s heart.
With the Lord’s help, underlined Pope Francis, we can reclaim the land in the form of confession and prayer that removes the stones and thorns and purifies our hearts.
During his address the Holy Father remembered the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel, who is celebrated on July 16th.
During his Angelus in St Peter’s Square, the Pope, once again addressed his thoughts to Venezuela. Greeting the Venezuelan Catholic community in Italy he renewed his prayer for what he called, this “beloved country”. Pope Francis’ prayer comes on a crucial day for Venezuela: this Sunday marks the popular referendum promoted by the opposition to say no to the constituent assembly proposed by President Maduro. The country’s bishops support the initiative, which is not recognized by the authorities, to counteract – they say – the attempt to establish a Marxist military dictatorship. Meanwhile, as the political crisis deepens, the humanitarian crisis worsens. Italian Caritas has published a report entitled which shows that over 11,000 children died in 2016 for lack of medicines and maternal mortality rose by almost 70%. Faced with the food, health and safety crisis, the Italian Bishops’ Conference has also offered to contribute 500,000 euros.
Source: Vatican Radio