In the Angelus, Francis made a strong appeal against child labour and for the people of Tigray, afflicted by violence and famine. The confidence in the mustard grain can bring a precious lesson on how “to recover from the pandemic”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Church should not let herself be overcome by the “weed of doubt” because God is always at work in the world as “a good seed”. This means that everyone is always called to start again with “patience and perseverance”, said Pope Francis today before the Angelus prayer, which included a strong appeal against child labour and for the people of Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region.
Addressing the physically distanced faithful who crowded St Peter’s Square, the pontiff cited the two parables in today’s liturgy, that of the mustard seed (“the smallest seed, which becomes the tallest tree when thrown into the ground”) and that of the seed that grows without the farmer’s knowledge.
In the parables, he noted, “Jesus teaches us that even everyday things, all those that sometimes seem the same and which we perform distractedly or with difficulty, are inhabited by God’s hidden presence”.
It is precisely the mustard seed that reveals that “God is at work, in the manner of a good little seed, which silently and slowly germinates.”
“With this parable, Jesus wants to give us confidence,” Francis said. “In fact, in many situations in life, we can be discouraged because we see the weakness of good against the apparent strength of evil.”
Instead, the Gospel calls for “a new look at ourselves and reality; it asks for eyes wide open that know how to see beyond appearances to discover the presence of God, who is always at work as humble love in the soil of our life and that of history”.
For the Pope such an attitude is particularly needed in order “to recover from the pandemic.” This means nurturing “confidence in being in God’s hands” as well as committing “ourselves to rebuilding and starting again, with patience and perseverance.”
However, such a gaze is also precious in the life of faith because “even in the Church,” Francis warned, “the weed of doubt can take root, especially when we witness the crisis of faith and the failure of various projects and initiatives”.
For this reason, the Pope urges us to remember “that the results of seeding do not depend upon our capacities, but upon God’s action. It is up to us to sow, to sow with love, commitment and patience. But the power of the seed is divine.”
After the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis made an appeal for the people of Tigray, who are going through a serious humanitarian crisis that exposes the poorest to famine and hunger. “Let us pray together that the violence cease immediately and that everyone be guaranteed assistance.”
The pontiff also mentioned World Day against Child Labour, celebrated yesterday. “It is not possible to close our eyes to the exploitation of children, deprived of the right to dream and play. About 150 million children are victims of this problem,” Francis noted, which is “the equivalent of the populations of Spain, France and Italy put together.”
Francis spoke about the tragedy of migrants dying in the Mediterranean in connection with the arrival in Augusta (Sicily) of a boat that sank on 12 April 2015. The pontiff also mentioned World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated tomorrow, in order to encourage people to engage in this precious “work of generosity and free giving.”
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