Vatican City, 13 July 2014 (VIS) – At midday Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Sunday Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Holy Father commented on the Gospel reading of the day's liturgy, which was the parable of the sower.
“Jesus uses many parables”, he said. These constitute “a language comprehensible to everyone, with images drawn from nature and situations from daily life. The first is an introduction to all the parables: that of the sower who casts his seed freely on all types of terrain”.
“The true protagonist of this parable is indeed the seed, which produces more or less fruit, depending on the land on which it falls. The first three terrains are unproductive: on the path, the seeds are eaten by birds; on the rocky ground, the buds dry quickly because they have no roots; among bushes, the seeds are choked by thorns. The fourth ground is good ground: only there does the seed take root and bears fruit”.
In this case, continued Francis, Jesus does not limit himself simply to presenting the parable, but also explains it. “The seed that fell on the path signifies those who hear the proclamation of the Kingdom of God but do not receive him, so the Evil One comes and takes it away, as he does not want the seed of the Gospel to germinate in the hearts of men. This is the first comparison. The second is the seed that fell on stony ground: this represents those who hear the word of God, and receive it immediately, but superficially, so it does not take roots and they are inconsistent; and when trials and tribulations arrive, these people lose heart immediately. The third case is that of the seed that fell among thorns. Jesus explains that it refers to those who hear the word but, owing to worldly concerns and the seduction of wealth, it remains stifled. Finally, the seed that fell on fertile soil represents those who hear the word, welcome it, safeguard it, and understand it – and it bears fruit. The perfect model of this good ground is the Virgin Mary”.
This parable speaks to each of us today, as it spoke to the listeners of Jesus two thousand years ago. It reminds us that we are the land where the Lord tirelessly throws the seed of His Word and His love. How do we receive it? How is our heart? What type of ground do we offer it: a path, a stone, a thorn bush? It is up to us to become good soil without thorns or stones, but instead cultivated with care, so that it can bring forth good fruit for us and for our brethren”.
The Pope concluded, “it is good for us not to forget that we too are sowers. God sows good seeds, and at this point too we can ask ourselves: what type of seed comes out of our heart and our mouth? Our words can do great good and also much evil; they can heal and they can wound, they can encourage and they can depress. Remember: what counts is not what enters, but what emerges from the mouth and the heart”.