Sunday, July 23, 2023

Papal Sunday Angelus 07.23.2023


Pope at Angelus: Learn to see and cultivate the works of God

At the midday Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis encourages us to "cultivate the fields of life" by learning to see and appreciate the beauty of what the Lord has sown in us, others, and the world, so that God's goodness may grow for an abundant harvest.

By Thaddeus Jones

Following the Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica for the Third World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, Pope Francis led the midday Angelus in Saint Peter's Square.

In his reflections, he looked at the Sunday Gospel reading about the parable of the wheat and weeds, when a farmer who planted good seed in his fields discovers that an enemy during the night had sown weeds.

The Lord describes our world like a large field where God sows wheat and the devil sows weeds, the good and the bad then grow together. The Pope said we might be tempted to root out the weeds, but we risk uprooting everything, even hurting the good in an effort to try to create a perfect world.

Cultivating the heart

From the field of the world, the Pope then described the "field of the heart" where we can actually do some necessary "clean up" also since we can intervene directly.

Our heart, also marked by wheat and weeds, is the "field of freedom" the Pope explained, and therefore it is an open and vulnerable space that expands into the field of the world and requires "constant care of the delicate shoots of goodness" while identifying and dealing with the weeds.

We need to look within our ourselves with an examination of conscience to discern the good and evil, he said, in order to "verify, in the light of God, what is happening in the field of the heart."

Seeing the good grain

The Pope then identified a third area, calling "the field of our neighbour," meaning the people in our lives, whom we can often judge by focusing only on their "weeds" rather than challenging ourselves to focus on the "good grain that is growing" in them and that we can help cultivate.

Encouraging everyone to "see the beauty of what the Lord has sown" in others, our world and ourselves, the Pope pointed out that this is not a "naïve" exercise, but one a believer must undertake "because God, the farmer of the great field of the world, loves to see goodness and to make it grow to make the harvest a feast!"

Our field work

In conclusion, the Pope said we should look at our own lives and how to resist the temptation to want to “bundle all the grass together” with sweeping judgments of others when we should try to see what is good without overlooking their weaknesses.

And do we honestly look for the weeds in ourselves and commit to "throwing them into the fire of God’s mercy"? The Pope encouraged all of us to ask these questions and work together so that there will be an abundant harvest of good.

“May the Virgin Mary help us to cultivate patiently what the Lord sows in the fields of life.”

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