“Let’s tear off the thorny bushes of vices that are fighting with God”

“Let’s tear off the thorny bushes of vices that are fighting with God”

Salvatore Cernuzio/ vatican city

At the Angelus Pope Francis comments the parable of the Sower, “the idols of worldly wealth, of living greedily for oneself, for possessing and for power, suffocate the growth of the Word.” A Prayer for the Population of Venezuela.

Small or big, each one of us has some "thorny bushes" inside. They are all "vices" like the idolatry of riches and the greed for power, these "thorny bushes do not please God and prevent from having a clean heart." "It is necessary to tear them off, otherwise the Word cannot bear fruit," says Francis in today's Angelus in St. Peter's Square.

Commenting the parable of the Sower from today’s Gospel, Pope Francis speaks of those "grounds" upon which Christ, the good sower who "does not impose but proposes," patiently and generously spreads his Word, which is not a cage or a trap, but a seed that can bear fruit." A word that is simple - he points out - Jesus, when he spoke he used a simple language along with images, which were examples from everyday life, so that they could easily be understood by everyone. That's why people listened willingly and appreciated his message, which got straight to their heart. Unlike the complicated language used by the doctors of the Law, which was not easy to understand, being too stiff, it drifted people away. It was with this language that Jesus made people understand the mystery of the Kingdom of God; it was not through a complicated theology."

With the parable of the sower Jesus performs "a spiritual radiography" of our heart, which is the ground on which the seed of the Word falls," explains Francis. A Soil that "can be good" so the Word bears fruit "and many", but that can also be "hard, waterproof" and in that case the Word "bounces off us, just like on a road ... it does not enter. If we throw seeds on cobblestones, nothing grows” the Pope adds.

Between the good soil and asphalt there are however «two intermediated types of land» that «in different measurements we may have in us». The first is a stony ground "where there is not much land", and the seed can "sprout, but it can not put deep roots". This, the Pope added, “is the superficial heart that welcomes the Lord, wants to pray, love and witness, but does not persevere and tends to wear off and never really "takes off". It is a heart that lacks thickness, where the rocks of laziness prevail over the good soil, where love is inconsistent and fleeting. Those who welcome the Lord only at their own convenience, do not bear fruit" the Pontiff highlights.

The other kind of soil is the thorny one, "full of thorny bushes that suffocate the good plants". What do these thorny bushes represent? "The seduction of greed and wealth," Jesus says it "quite explicitly." "The thorny bushes are the vices which fight with God and suffocate His presence," the Pope says equally explicitly. They are "the idols of the worldly wealth, of living greedily for oneself, for owning and for power." "If we grow these thorny bushes, we are suffocating the growth of God in us," warns Bergoglio. It's better then to tear them off, before it's too late.

In conclusion, Pope Francis invites us all to look within ourselves and say, "thank you for our good soil" and "work on those ground that are not yet good". "Let us ask ourselves," he says, "if our heart is open to faithfully accept the seed of God’s word. Let us wonder if the rocks of laziness are still big and many in us; let us pinpoint and call these thorny bushes of vices by their name. Let’s find the courage to make a good "land reclamation", a beautiful rejuvenation of our heart, bringing to the Lord in our Confession and in Prayer our rocks and our thorny bushes. "In doing so, Francis says, Christ "will be happy to do an additional work: purify our heart by removing the stones and thorns that suffocate His Word."

The Pope then invokes the Virgin Mary, who the Church celebrates today with the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel: You, "unmatched in welcoming the Word of God and putting it into practice, help us to purify your heart and preserve the presence of the Lord ", he prays. Finally, after the Angelus, he greets the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, especially the Carmelites whom he encourages to "keep on the road of contemplation" and the Venezuelan Catholic community in Italy with which he renews his "prayer for this beloved country".

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 21:38
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