Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis has asked believers to "accompany" the publication of his encyclical on the care of creation, scheduled next Thursday, and "for everyone", "with a renewed attention to environmental degradation, but also to the safeguarding of their own territories ". "We pray that all may receive his message and grow in responsibility towards the common home that God has entrusted to us."
The Pope was speaking to 50 thousand people present in St Peter's Square for the Angelus, during which he also mentioned today's World Day for Blood donors, expressing his appreciation, urging "especially young people to follow their example."
Before the Marian prayer, Francis, commenting on today's Gospel, said that "the Kingdom of God: it is a humanly small and seemingly insignificant reality. To enter it we must be poor in heart; not trusting in our own capabilities, but in the power of God's love; not act to be important in the eyes of the world, but precious in the sight of God, who prefers the simple and humble. "
"Today's Gospel - he said - is made up of two very short parables: that of the seed that sprouts and grows by itself, and that of the mustard seed (cf. Mk 4.26 to 34). Through these images from the rural world, Jesus presents the efficacy of the Word of God and the demands of his Kingdom, showing the reasons for our hope and our commitment in history. "
"In the first parable the focus is on the fact that the seed sown in the earth, takes root and grows by itself, whether the farmer is asleep or keeping watch. He is confident in the power inside the seed itself and in the soil’s fertility. In the language of the Gospel, the seed is a symbol of the Word of God, whose fertility is evoked by this parable. As the humble seed grows in the ground, so does the Word by the power of God in the heart of the listener. God has entrusted his Word to our land, that is, each of us with our concrete humanity. We can be confident, because the Word of God is a creative word, destined to become "the full grain in the ear" (v. 28). This Word, if successful, leads certainly to bear fruit, because God himself is the root and mature in ways that we can not always comprehend, and in a way that we do not know (cf. v. 27). All this tells us that God always nurtures His Kingdom, we pray so that with the coming of his Kingdom, man is His humble collaborator, contemplating and rejoicing in God's creative action and waits patiently for its fruits . This is why I would like to recommend once again that you bring along a small Gospel, in your bag, in your pocket, and read a few lines every day. " "Do not forget it."
"The second parable uses the image of the mustard seed. Despite being the smallest of all seeds, it is full of life and grows up to be "the largest of all garden plants" (Mk 4:32). And so is the Kingdom of God: a humanly small and seemingly insignificant reality. To enter it we must be poor in heart; not trusting in our own capabilities, but in the power of God's love; not acting to be important in the eyes of the world, but precious in the sight of God, who prefers the simple and humble. When we live like this, the power of Christ bursts through us and transforms what is small and modest into a reality that leavens the whole mass of the world and of history. "
"From these two parables there is an important lesson: the Kingdom of God requires our cooperation, but above all initiative and gift of the Lord. Our weak work, seemingly small, given the complexity of the problems of the world, whether included in that of God is not afraid of difficulties. The victory of the Lord is sure: His love will make every seed of goodness on earth sprout and grow. This opens us up to trust and hope, despite the tragedies, injustices and suffering that we encounter. The seed of goodness and peace sprouts and grows, because the merciful love of God matures it. May the Blessed Virgin, who welcomed as "fertile land" the seed of God's word, sustain us in this hope that never disappoints. "